UK Politics

Damian Green: Timeline of his downfall

Damian Green Image copyright AFP

Damian Green, one of Theresa May's closest allies, has been sacked from the cabinet following claims that pornography was found on his office computer.

Here is a timeline of how Home Office leaks in 2008 sparked an investigation which would lead to his downfall.

8 October 2008: The Cabinet Office calls the Metropolitan Police to investigate after a series of leaked official documents from the Home Office are published in national newspapers. The leaks, about illegal immigration and other issues, embarrass the Labour government. Damian Green is the Conservatives' immigration spokesman at the time.

19 November 2008: Junior Home Office official Christopher Galley is arrested in connection with the leaked documents. No charges were brought against him, although he was later sacked.

27 November 2008: Mr Green is arrested and held by the Metropolitan Police for nine hours on suspicion of "conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, and aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in a public office". His home and his offices in Kent and parliament are searched. He is released on bail.

28 November 2008: Conservative leader David Cameron criticises the "heavy-handed tactics" employed by Scotland Yard.

2 December 2008: Scotland Yard announces an urgent review of its handling of the leaks probe.

8 April 2009: The officer in charge of the inquiry into the leaks, Bob Quick, is forced to resign over an alleged security breach. He was widely criticised by Tory MPs for the raid of Mr Green's offices.

16 April 2009: The Crown Prosecution Service announces Mr Green and Mr Galley will not face prosecution.

17 June 2009: A parliamentary inquiry is announced into the arrest of Mr Green.

19 August 2009: Mr Green hails a police decision to remove his DNA from a national database as a "small but significant victory for freedom".

Image copyright Elizabeth Handy
Image caption Kate Maltby says Damian Green made inappropriate advances towards her

31 October 2017: Theresa May asks Whitehall's top civil servant to investigate allegations that Mr Green, now First Secretary of State, made inappropriate advances towards journalist and activist Kate Maltby in 2015 - which he denies.

1 November 2017: Ms Maltby writes in the Times that Damian Green "fleetingly" touched her knee in a pub in 2015, and in 2016 sent her a "suggestive" text message. The 31-year-old writer and academic says the encounters left her feeling "awkward, embarrassed and professionally compromised". Mr Green says he had known Ms Maltby since 2014 and the pair "had a drink as friends twice-yearly". He said the text he had sent to her was meant to be friendly and "this untrue allegation has come as a complete shock and is deeply hurtful." He denies touching her knee in 2015.

4 November 2017: Bob Quick tells the Sunday Times pornography was found on one of Mr Green's parliamentary computers during the 2008 inquiry into the home office leaks. Damian Green says: "This story is completely untrue and comes from a tainted and untrustworthy source. The police have never suggested to me that improper material was found on my Parliamentary computer, nor did I have a 'private' computer as has been claimed."

6 November 2017: The Cabinet Office investigation is expanded to include Mr Quick's allegations.

11 November 2017: Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson says he had been aware of allegations about pornography being found on Mr Green's office computer. Mr Green says: "I reiterate that no allegations about the presence of improper material on my parliamentary computers have ever been put to me or to the parliamentary authorities by the police. I can only assume that they are being made now, nine years later, for ulterior motives."

1 December 2017: Former Scotland Yard detective Neil Lewis tells BBC News he was "shocked" by the amount of pornography on a computer seized from Mr Green's office in 2008, adding that the material had not been illegal.

4 December 2017: The head of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, condemns retired officers Neil Lewis and Bob Quick over their allegations, saying all officers had a duty to protect sensitive information they discovered.

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Media captionDamian Green speaking to reporters outside his home in his constituency of Ashford

5 December 2017: Mr Quick calls on Mr Green to retract his "deeply hurtful" allegations that he lied about finding "vast amounts" of pornography on the MP's computer.

18 December 2017: Theresa May receives the report on Damian Green's conduct by Cabinet Office official Sue Gray.

20 December 2017: Theresa May sacks Mr Green from the cabinet after the inquiry found he breached the ministerial code over "inaccurate and misleading" statements he made on 4 and 11 November which suggested he did not know pornography was found on his office computer in 2008.

In his resignation letter, Mr Green said statements he made could have been "clearer", conceding that his lawyers had been informed by Met Police lawyers about their initial discovery in 2008 and the police had also raised the matter with him in a phone call in 2013.

The report also found that although there were "competing and contradictory accounts of what were private meetings" between himself and Ms Maltby, the investigation found her account "to be plausible".

Mr Green apologises for making Ms Maltby feel uncomfortable in 2015.

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