By co-founder Carl Sacklen
On Wednesday night, we were met with the news that Damian Green, the first Secretary of State and de-facto Deputy Prime Minister, had been forced to resign.
As a significant ally of Prime Minister May, Damian Green’s resignation is a major event that deserves to be Put Simply.
What were the allegations?
In November The Times published an article where it was alleged Green had made unwanted advances towards Kate Maltby, a leading academic and critic, in 2015.
Green denied the allegations and Prime Minister May asked the Cabinet Office to investigate the claims.
Just a few days later, the Sunday Times revealed that police had discovered pornography on Green’s computer following an investigation into government leaks in 2008.
Green said this was “completely untrue” and clarified he had never been made aware of the allegations before.
On Wednesday, the investigation Prime Minister ordered found that although Green’s conduct was mostly “professional and proper,” the events relating to Kate Matly were plausible.
Green had made two statements regarding the pornography found on his parliamentary computer in 2008. The Cabinet investigation found these to be misleading since Green had in fact been informed of the findings before.
Therefore, in making the statements Green had fallen short of the “honesty requirement of the Seven Principles of Public Life” and thus breached Ministerial Code.
As such, Prime Minister May had no option but to force Green to resign.
Why is this significant?
The two are major political allies and their friendship dates back to their days at Oxford University.
It was Green who, following a rocky start after the snap election, worked to defend the prime minister in the face of calls for her resignation.
Prime Minister May is therefore losing a key ally at a key time. She is currently at the helm and facing the final year of Brexit negotiations only now she’s lost her trusty second in command.
Sources and Further Reading:
- Haroon Siddique , Andrew Sparrow and Claire Phipps, May says she wants investigation into release of Damian Green information – as it happened, The Guardian, 21 December 2017
- Damian Green had to go, but police face questions - Jeremy Hunt, BBC, 21 December 2017
- Danny Shaw, Damian Green: Vendetta or architect of his own downfall?, BBC, 21 December 2017
- Joe Murphy, Nicholas Cecil, Kate Proctor, John Dunne, and Rosamund Urwin, Tories gun for Met police after Damian Green quits - as Jeremy Hunt is tipped to succeed him, Evening Standard, 21 December 2017
Image: @Wikimedia Commons