Theresa May demands police leaks over Damian Green are ‘properly investigated’
Mr Green left his post as First Secretary of State continuing to deny claims he downloaded or viewed porn on his parliamentary computer.
Theresa May has said she expects the leak of information by a former senior police officer about the discovery of pornography on the Commons computer of Damian Green to be “properly investigated”.
The Prime Minister, speaking during a visit to Poland, said she shared concerns about the way details of a 2008 police inquiry into Home Office leaks had entered the public domain.
“I share the concerns that have been raised across the political spectrum about comments that were made by a former police officer and I expect that issue to be properly investigated, to be taken seriously and to be properly looked at,” she said.
Earlier in the day, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had said it was clear the Prime Minister acted with a “very heavy heart” when she ordered Mr Green to tender his resignation after summoning him to No 10 on Wednesday evening.
However, Mr Hunt said there were questions to answer about the conduct of the retired police officer who leaked details of the raid on Mr Green’s Commons office in 2008 when pornographic images were found on his computer.
Damian Green, in letter to the PM, says he should have been clear that police raised the pornography with his lawyers in 2008 and him in 2013. He said: "I apologise that my statements were misleading on this point." pic.twitter.com/jBMTLfYDPw— Press Association (@PA) December 20, 2017
Mr Green left his post as First Secretary of State continuing to deny “unfounded and deeply hurtful” claims that he downloaded or viewed the material.
But an investigation by the Cabinet Office found two statements Mr Green made on November 4 and 11, which suggested he was not aware indecent material had been discovered, were “inaccurate and misleading” and breached the ministerial code.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mrs May received the report in Downing Street on Monday.
Theresa May, in reply, said she was "extremely sad", adding it was "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." pic.twitter.com/OpOzpdxbD0— Press Association (@PA) December 20, 2017
The following day she referred it to her independent adviser on ministers’ interests, Sir Alex Allan, who told her on Wednesday that he agreed with the finding that there had been a breach of the ministerial code.
Mr Green’s sacking follows the November resignations of Sir Michael Fallon as defence secretary, amid Westminster sleaze allegations, and international development secretary Priti Patel over undisclosed meetings in Israel.
Just after 1pm Mr Green tweeted: “I am overwhelmed by the number of friends, colleagues (on all sides) and constituents who have sent supportive messages this morning. My thanks to you all, and a Happy Christmas. See you in 2018.”
I am overwhelmed by the number of friends, colleagues (on all sides) and constituents who have sent supportive messages this morning. My thanks to you all, and a Happy Christmas. See you in 2018.— Damian Green (@DamianGreen) December 21, 2017
The inquiry was initially launched after Kate Maltby, a Conservative activist and journalist 30 years his junior, complained that Mr Green had made inappropriate advances.
Former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Bob Quick, who led the 2008 investigation into Home Office leaks, then went public with his claims about the discovery of porn on the computer.
Mr Green initially denounced the allegations as “completely untrue” and attacked “disreputable political smears from a discredited police officer”, but in his resignation letter he admitted police had twice discussed the porn with him and his lawyers.