Damian Green has been forced out of the government after a Cabinet Office investigation found he had misled the public and MPs over pornography found on a computer in his Parliamentary office.
Mr Green is the third Cabinet minister to be forced out of office in the last two months, following Michael Fallon and Priti Patel.
The inquiry, run by Sue Gray, found that Mr Green had misled the public in statements he made on November 4 and 11, denying that police had ever told him about pornographic material found in a raid on his office in 2008.
In fact, the police had raised it with his solicitor in 2008 and with him directly in 2013.
Mrs May told Mr Green to resign on Wednesday evening, and is not expected to replace him in the immediate future.
The decision is a vindication of former Metropolitan police officers Bob Quick and Neil Lewis, who came forward to make it clear that pornograpic material was found on a computer in Mr Green’s office, no matter what the now-former First Minister had to say about it.
Ms Gray did not present the Prime Minister with any conclusions about whether Mr Green had behaved inappropriately towards the writer Kate Maltby, whose complaint triggered the inquiry, or whether he had ever viewed or downloaded pornography at work.
The investigation concluded that because of “competing and contradictory accounts” of private meetings involving Mr Green and Ms Maltby it was not possible “to reach a definitive conclusion on the appropriateness of Mr Green’s behaviour with Kate Maltby in early 2015”, however, the investigation “found Ms Maltby’s account to be plausible”.
The Cabinet Office report also stated that: “Mr Green’s statements of 4 and 11 November, which suggested that he was not aware that indecent material was found on parliamentary computers in his office, were inaccurate and misleading, as the Metropolitan Police Service had previously informed him of the existence of this material.
“These statements therefore fall short of the honesty requirement of the Seven Principles of Public Life and constitute breaches of the Ministerial Code. Mr Green accepts this.”
But there is a sting in the tale for the former police officers who have ended Mr Green’s Cabinet career; Theresa May has said they breached a “duty of confidentiality” by revealing details of what was found on Mr Green’s computer in 2008 when his parliamentary office was raided.
She wrote, in her letter that, it seems, both demanded and accepted Mr Green’s resignation (if he had been sacked, he wouldn’t have received a generous Cabinet pension – make of that what you will): “I shared the concerns raised from across the political spectrum when your Parliamentary office was raided in 2008 when you were a shadow home office minister holding the then Labour Government to account.
“And I share the concerns, raised once again from across the political spectrum, at the comments made by a former officer involved in that case in recent weeks. I am glad that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police’s professional standards department are reviewing the comments which have been made.”
So it seems that, having been forced to get rid of Damian Green because of evidence brought forward in the name of justice, Mrs May is determined to discourage anybody else from doing the decent thing by fouling the names of the former officers concerned.
To This Writer, such behaviour does not resemble good government.
Considering the facts, perhaps Mrs May would care to explain how justice has not been served by the officers, who came forward at considerable risk to their own reputations in order to ensure the facts of this case were made public?
Why is the prime minister of the United Kingdom trying to justify attempts to hide important facts?
This Writer will shed no tears of Mr Green’s demise; he is a nasty piece of work.
As Work and Pensions Secretary, he worked hard to justify the Conservative government’s persecution of society’s most vulnerable people, in the fact of hard evidence including the film I, Daniel Blake, in which director Ken Loach described vividly the trials faced by sickness benefit claimants in Tory Britain.
He has worked equally hard, as First Minister, to discredit those who rightly stood up against him when claims were made about his behaviour.
It is good that he has gone.
In fact, his dismissal may go some way towards restoring faith in the UK’s government system, as it was a Cabinet Office inquiry that demanded his removal.
For This Site, that makes three-for-three; three Cabinet-level removals following revelations against the MPs concerned.
But there are plenty more candidates for removal left to go.
Why is Boris Johnson still Foreign Secretary, after he failed to secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe from prison in Iran? His incompetence threatened to double her unjust prison sentence.
And why is David Davis still Brexit Secretary, after he botched negotiations with the EU27 countries so badly and then claimed that the UK could renege on the deal that had been hammered out?
Mr Davis was once said to be considering resigning in protest at the way Mr Green has been treated – but it seems that was just hot air and he will not follow through on the claim.
These vermin need to be aware that we have a 100 per cent record of clearing out pests like them – and we intend to keep it that way.
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