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U.K. first secretary of state resigns amid porn probe

Britain’s First Secretary of State Damian Green was forced to resign Wednesday for making “inaccurate and misleading” statements during an investigation into pornographic images found on a Parliament computer in his office in 2008.

The key ally to Prime Minister Theresa May was ousted from his post on Wednesday night even though he maintained he had not viewed pornography on his office computers. He did acknowledge he had not been forthcoming in earlier statements about the investigation.

Britain Politics

Green was a vital political ally who acted as a de facto deputy prime minister and supported Prime Minister Theresa May, right, in Brexit negotiations. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via AP)

A report by May’s cabinet secretary concluded that Green had made misleading statements regarding his knowledge about the indecent images found by police.

“From the outset, I have been clear that I did not download or view pornography on my parliamentary computers,” Green said in his resignation later.

“I accept that I should have been clear in my press statements that police lawyers talked to my lawyers in 2008 about the pornography on the computers, and that the police raised it with me in a subsequent phone call in 2013,” he said.

PM May asked Green to resign

May said she asked Green for his resignation after an investigation concluded he had not been open about the matter.

“I have also carefully considered the report’s conclusions in relation to two statements you made on 4 and 11 November which you now accept were inaccurate and misleading,” the prime minister wrote in a letter requesting Green to step aside and saying he had fallen short of the standards expected of him.

Damian Green has resigned as First Secretary of State. Full letter from the Prime Minister here: pic.twitter.com/5x7b4b78gR

@ashcowburn

“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 wrote.

Green was a vital political ally who acted as a de facto deputy prime minister and supported May in her difficult Brexit negotiations.

He had claimed earlier he was the victim of a smear campaign. The pornography was found on his computer during a police investigation of government leaks.

Sexual harassment claims

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

Maltby said Green had “fleetingly” touched her knee during a meeting in a pub and later sent a suggestive text after a picture of her wearing a corset appeared in a newspaper.

The cabinet secretary investigation said it was “not possible to reach a definitive conclusion” on whether Green’s behaviour with Maltby was appropriate, but added that her account was “plausible.”

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.


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