As Damian Green quits, Executive Political Editor JACK DOYLE charts a resignation with its roots in a raid on his Commons office nine years ago.
Damian Green (pictured leaving his home on Wednesday night) was forced to quit after the Cabinet Office probe finds he breached the ministerial code
November 27, 2008
Police raid Damian Green’s parliamentary office as part of a probe into leaks of embarrassing material from the Home Office. The probe is led by Bob Quick, then Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard. The raid sparks a huge political backlash and allegations the police have been politicised.
December 22, 2008
Quick apologises after claiming the Tory Party was behind an embarrassing story about the wedding chauffeur business run by his wife from their home. It follows a war of words in which he accused the Conservatives of behaving in a ‘wholly corrupt way’ by attacking his inquiry.
April 9, 2009
Quick resigns after walking down Downing Street inadvertently exposing details of a secret briefing note, which are captured by photographers. It forces a major undercover terror operation involving several arrests to be brought forward.
April 16, 2009
Green is cleared of any criminal activity relating to the leaks by the CPS who conclude the documents leaked were not secret and not a threat to national security.
October 27, 2017
Reports emerge of a list of ‘sex pest’ MPs drawn up by female staff in Westminster said to include the names of several ministers.
In an article for The Times, Tory activist Kate Maltby, a family friend of Green’s, accuses him of sexual harassment.
She says he ‘fleetingly’ touched her knee in 2015 and sent a ‘suggestive’ text message after she was pictured wearing a corset in the newspaper. Miss Maltby said he mentioned that his wife was ‘very understanding’ and she then ‘felt a fleeting hand against my knee – so brief it was almost deniable’.
‘He was a university contemporary of my mother. He offered me career advice and in the same breath made it clear he was sexually interested.
‘It was not acceptable to me at the time and it should not be acceptable behaviour in Westminster in the future.’ He flatly denies making sexual advances, calling the claim ‘untrue and deeply hurtful’.
A Cabinet Office probe is launched. On the same day, Sir Michael Fallon resigns as Defence Secretary over claims about his conduct with women.
The Sunday Times reports that police found ‘extreme pornography’ on Mr Green’s office computer during the 2008 raid, a story sourced to Quick. Mr Green calls the allegations ‘completely untrue’ – appearing to deny the suggestion porn was found.
He calls Quick a ‘tainted and untrustworthy source’ and the allegations ‘false disreputable political smears’. Quick denied he approached the paper and says they approached him about the story.
After The Sunday Times reports that Sir Paul Stephenson – then Met Commissioner – was told of the porn find, Mr Green changes his tune. Instead of denying there was pornography, he now denies having been told about it. ‘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.’ That and the earlier statement came back to haunt Green as his lawyers were told in 2008 and the police raised it with him in a phone call in 2013.
It emerges that Sue Gray, the director-general of propriety and ethics at the Cabinet Office, has asked officials if there is evidence of attempts to access pornography from computers used by Mr Green since he became a minister in 2010.
Former Scotland Yard detective Neil Lewis, who was involved in the original leaks probe, tells the BBC he was ‘shocked’ by the amount of pornography found on Green’s computer. His interview sparks a furious backlash from Tory MPs who accuse officers of releasing private information to undermine a Cabinet minister. Brexit Secretary David Davis weighs in behind Green.
Mr Green is forced to quit after the Cabinet Office probe finds he breached the ministerial code with his misleading statements about the pornography found on his computer.