In Brief

Damian Green sacked for lying about porn

Theresa May is a ‘lonelier figure’ following the removal of her close ally

Damian Green has been forced to resign from the cabinet after an inquiry found he was in breach of the ministerial code when he made “misleading” statements about pornography found on his Commons computer.

The Independent says Green was ousted as first secretary of state after the inquiry found he had “known for years” that police had discovered the explicit material, which was “at odds with his public statements”.

Green’s removal is a bitter blow for Theresa May. He was a close ally for a Prime Minister whose leadership is already on rocky ground.

But May “had little choice but to ask him to go”, says BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, even if his departure has left her a “lonelier figure”.

The inquiry, led by the cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, was also investigating claims Green had acted inappropriately towards the journalist and Tory activist Kate Malby.

Heywood found Maltby to be a “plausible” witness, however it was “not possible to reach a definitive conclusion” on the allegations being made.

Green thanked his supporters in a Tweet today, saying he was “overwhelmed” by the number of messages from friends, colleagues and constituents.

In his resignation letter, Green maintained that he neither downloaded nor viewed the pornography on his computer, but admitted he had discussed the matter with police in 2013.

He also said he did “not recognise the events [Maltby] described”, but apologised because he had “clearly made her feel uncomfortable”.

Green is the third cabinet minister to leave May’s government since early November, following Michael Fallon and Priti Patel, who stepped down over separate scandals.

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