Damian Green says computer porn allegations are 'political smears'

Theresa May’s most senior minister has denied a claim that police found pornography on a computer in his office in Westminster during a raid in 2008.

First Secretary of State Damian Green said the ex-police chief’s allegations in the Sunday Times were “completely untrue” and “political smears”.

And he said police had never told him that any improper material had been found on his parliamentary computer.

It comes amid a growing sexual misconduct scandal in Westminster.

‘Humiliated’

On Sunday, further details emerged about allegations against Sir Michael Fallon, who this week resigned as defence secretary over his behaviour.

The Observer reported that he quit shortly after journalist Jane Merrick told Downing Street he had lunged at her and attempted to kiss her on the lips in 2003 after they had lunch together.

Ms Merrick, who was a 29-year-old reporter at the Daily Mail at the time, told the Observer she “shrank away in horror” before returning to her office in the press gallery.

“I felt humiliated, ashamed. Was I even guilty that maybe I had led him on in some way by drinking with him?” she said.

“After years of having a drink with so many other MPs who have not acted inappropriately towards me, I now know I was not.”

Friends of Sir Michael have not denied the allegation, but the BBC understands that his ministerial career ended because he could not guarantee there would be no further revelations after he admitted repeatedly touching another journalist’s knee at a conference dinner 15 years ago.

The allegation regarding Mr Green, who is effectively the prime minister’s deputy, relates to an inquiry into Home Office leaks which briefly led to his arrest in 2008.

The Sunday Times reports that the man who led that inquiry, former Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, had said in a statement his officers had found pornographic material on the computer from Mr Green’s office.

But Mr Green said: “The allegations about the material and computer, now nine years old, are false, disreputable political smears from a discredited police officer acting in flagrant breach of his duty to keep the details of police investigations confidential, and amount to little more than an unscrupulous character assassination.”

Mr Quick has been unavailable for comment but the former anti-terror chief is set to give evidence to a Cabinet Office inquiry launched into Mr Green’s behaviour.

The Cabinet Office inquiry was triggered after journalist Kate Maltby, who is three decades younger than Mr Green, told the Times he “fleetingly” touched her knee during a meeting in a pub in 2015 and a year later sent her a “suggestive” text message after she was pictured wearing a corset in the newspaper.

Mr Green said any allegation that he made sexual advances to Ms Maltby was “untrue (and) deeply hurtful”.

Which other politicians are being investigated?

Conservatives

  • MP for Dover Charlie Elphicke has been suspended by his party after “serious allegations” against him were referred to the police. He denies any wrongdoing.
  • International trade minister Mark Garnier is being investigated for a potential breach of ministerial rules after he admitted asking his secretary to buy sex toys. The MP for Wyre Forest also confirmed he called her “sugar tits”, but said it did not amount to harassment.
  • Daniel Poulter, who represents Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, has been referred to the Conservative Party disciplinary committee after allegations in the Sunday Times.

Labour

  • A formal complaint has been made against Norwich South MP Clive Lewis by a woman who says he groped her at the party’s annual conference. The former shadow defence secretary is alleged to have hugged her and squeezed her bottom.
  • Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins, 76, has been suspended after Labour activist Ava Etemadzadeh, 27, said he sent her inappropriate text messages and made inappropriate physical contact. He says he “absolutely and categorically” denies the claims.
  • An independent investigation is also under way after Labour activist Bex Bailey told the BBC she was raped at a party event, aged 19, and discouraged from reporting the attack by a senior official.
  • Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon has said she was sexually assaulted by a senior member of the party

SNP

  • Mark McDonald MSP has quit as childcare and early years minister over previous actions which he said were considered “inappropriate”. He is being investigated by the SNP for possible misconduct. It is understood the allegations are not criminal in nature.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

BBC News – Home