- Peter Nicholls/Reuters
- Damian Green under pressure after former detective says he found thousands of pornographic images on his computer.
- The first secretary of state is under investigation for inappropriate behaviour.
- Theresa May’s de facto deputy is expected to not be found to have broken the ministerial code.
LONDON – A report into Theresa May’s deputy is expected to be published on Friday, as a detective who examined Damian Green’s computer said it contained thousands of pornographic images.
The first secretary of state has been under investigation by the Cabinet Office since the beginning of November. It is looking into allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Green towards a female Conservative activist, as well as claims that he had pornography on his parliamentary computers.
Sources told The Sun newspaper that the report will conclude that it is unclear whether Green has broken the ministerial code, which is a sackable offence.
Green denies all the claims against him. The investigation began when Conservative activist and historian Kate Maltby alleged that he behaved inappropriately towards her, and it was then alleged that Green viewed pornography on his parliamentary computer.
A former Metropolitan Police officer, Neil Lewis, said that Green’s computer contained thousands of pornographic images when it was seized in 2008.
Lewis told the BBC that he was sure that the computer belonged to the first secretary of state because “the computer was in Mr Green’s office, on his desk, logged in, his account, his name.
“In between browsing pornography, he was sending emails from his account, his personal account, reading documents … it was ridiculous to suggest anybody else could have done it.”
Lewis, who retired from the police in 2014, said he was shocked by what he found. He said: “The shocking thing as I was viewing it, I noticed a lot of pornography – thumbnails, which indicated web browsing. There was a lot of them. I was surprised to see that on a parliament computer. I had to take a step back because I wasn’t expecting that.”
A spokesperson for Green said: “It would be inappropriate for Mr Green to comment on these allegations while the cabinet office investigation is ongoing, however, from the outset he has been very clear that he never watched or downloaded pornography on the computers seized from his office.
“He maintains his innocence of these charges and awaits the outcome of the investigation.”
Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme: “The hounding of Mr Green over information which everyone agrees is completely legal… is completely wrong.”
Labour MP Hillary Benn said that the fresh evidence should be investigated. He told “Today”: “We are all waiting for the outcome of it and clearly it should look at all available evidence in reaching a decision. All evidence that is relevant to the inquiry should be considered by the cabinet office. There is a process and we should let it do its work.”
If the investigation does not find he broke the ministerial code, Green still faces a fight to continue his political future, and the prime minister could still be under pressure to remove him as her de facto deputy.