Damian Green, UK PM's May deputy, resigns over pornography scandal

Damian Green with Mrs May at PMQs today

I accept that I should have been clear in my press statements that police lawyers talked to my lawyers about the pornography on the computers, and that the police raised it with me in a subsequent phone call in 2013.

"It is therefore with deep regret, and enduring gratitude for the contribution you have made over many years, that I asked you to resign from the Government and have accepted your resignation", May said.

She said she ignored the message and only contacted Mr Green after he became a minister in Mrs May's new Cabinet on July 17 a year ago, congratulating him on his appointment.

In its report the Cabinet Office said Green had breached the ministerial code when he made "inaccurate and misleading" statements, by falsely claiming he was unaware that pornographic material had been found on his computer.

Green, who voted to stay in the European Union, was appointed as first secretary of state just six months ago in a bid to shore up May's premiership following her disastrous bet on a June snap election that lost her party its majority in parliament.

In his resignation letter to Theresa May, Mr Green said: "From the outset I have been clear that I did not download or view pornography on my parliamentary computers". In response, Green said the story was untrue. May's aid minister resigned a week later after admitting to holding undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials. He sought to help her to shed the image of a distant leader who only listens to those in her inner circle.

The loss of two ministers in a matter of days cast doubt over May's authority, already challenged by divided opinions within her cabinet over Brexit.

The internal investigation found that Green's conduct as a minister was generally "professional and proper" but found two statements he made on November 4 and 11 to be inaccurate and misleading.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said Mrs May received the report in Downing Street on Monday.

The investigation found it was "inaccurate and misleading" for him to claim police had not told him porn had been found on the computer.

"More importantly, the police have never suggested to me that improper material was found on my parliamentary computer", he added.

"The Metropolitan Police Service had previously informed him of the existence of this material", it said.

Two retired police officers who revealed information about the Damian Green pornography case are being investigated for potential Data Protection Act offences, it emerged today.

Green is among a number of British politicians who have stepped down or been forced out in recent weeks as a wave of allegations of sexual harassment has surfaced.

The Cabinet investigation did not yield a conclusion about sexual misconduct allegations writer Kate Maltby made against Green.

Green said in his resignation letter that he did not recognise the account of events, but apologised to the woman, academic and critic Kate Maltby, for making her feel uncomfortable.

He has been under a separate investigation following allegations of inappropriate behavior towards journalist and Conservative party activist Kate Malby in 2015, however he has denied all accusations.



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