In Brief

‘Thousands’ of pornographic images on deputy PM Damian Green’s computer

Former Scotland Yard detective says he was ‘shocked’ by content in browser history

A former Scotland Yard detective has told the BBC that he was “shocked” by the amount of pornography that had been viewed on a computer seized from Tory MP Damian Green’s office in Parliament.

Neil Lewis, a former computer forensics officer, claims there were “thousands” of images, with porn being searched for several hours on some days.

Green, the First Secretary of State and Theresa May’s de facto deputy, has said he never watched or downloaded pornography on the computer, which was seized during an inquiry into government leaks in 2008.

But Lewis, who retired from the Metropolitan Police in 2014, said a check of the computer’s internet history over a three-month period showed that legal porn had been viewed “extensively”.

Lewis’s analysis of the way the computer had been used left the former detective in “no doubt whatsoever” that it was Green, then an opposition immigration spokesperson, who was accessing the images.

“The computer was in Mr Green’s office, on his desk, logged in, his account, his name,” said Lewis.

“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.”

Fellow Tory MP Andrew Mitchell, defended Green on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, saying: “We need him getting on with the job of helping [to run] the country and not being attacked and blackened in this way.”

Friends of Green are incredulous, says The Times’s Matt Chorley, who claims that one told him that the deputy PM is “just gobsmacked” by the claims. The unnamed source reportedly told Chorley: “It is deeply concerning that a former police officer is putting these non-illegal claims into the public domain.”

Chorley’s source added that at the time of the police raid, Green was getting “bombshell leaks from the Labour government, running campaigns against ID cards and detention without charge. The idea that he had the hours in the day to spend doing this stuff is just ridiculous.”

A Cabinet Office inquiry set up last month to investigate allegations that the 61-year-old minister had made inappropriate advances to a political activist, Kate Maltby, is also examining the porn claims.

According to The Sun’s Steve Hawkes, the report into Green’s behaviour could be released as early as today and is expected to contain “serious criticism” of his actions.

“Downing Street is believed to have spent the past two days working on a desperate plan to keep Mr Green in his job after seeing the initial findings,” Hawkes adds.

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