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PM sacks deputy after porn allegations inquiry

By Aubrey Allegretti, Political Reporter
Theresa May has sacked her closest political ally after an investigation into claims that pornographic material was found on his Commons computer.
Damian Green, who is a lifelong friend of Theresa May, was asked to step down from his official job as First Secretary of State for breaching the ministerial code.On Thursday morning, he refused to answer reporters' questions as he left his London house in Acton, saying: "I'm not going to say anything."In a letter published on Wednesday night, Mrs May revealed a report cleared him of watching or downloading pornography.But it found he made two "misleading" and "inaccurate" statements about knowledge of the claims.:: Read the letters in full
PM sacks deputy after porn allegations inquiry

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Theresa May asked Damian Green to step down
Mrs May wrote: "While I can understand the considerable distress caused to you by some of the allegations which have been made in recent weeks, I know that you share my commitment to maintaining the high standards which the public demands of Ministers of the Crown."It is therefore with deep regret, and enduring gratitude for the contribution you have made over many years, that I asked you to resign from the Government and have accepted your resignation."The letter also said Mr Green, 61, "recognised" he made a female journalist "feel uncomfortable".Freelance columnist and daughter of a family friend Kate Maltby, 31, claimed in October she "felt a fleeting hand against my knee" during a meeting in a bar.Mr Green said he "deeply regretted" the "distress" caused to Ms Maltby and acknowledged that he "clearly made her feel uncomfortable - and for this I apologise".
PM sacks deputy after porn allegations inquiry

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Damian Green and Theresa May exchanged letters
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Green maintained he never viewed or downloaded porn on his Commons computer.But he wrote: "I accept that I should have been clear in my press statements that police lawyers talked to my lawyers in 2008 about the pornography on the computers, and that the police raised it with me in a subsequent phone call in 2013.
"I apologise that my statements were misleading on this point."On Wednesday evening, Ms Maltby's parents, Colin and Victoria Maltby, announced they were "pleased" the Cabinet Office inquiry had concluded.They said: "We are not surprised to find that the inquiry found Mr Green to have been untruthful as a minister, nor that they found our daughter to be a plausible witness."We have received many supportive messages from people near and far who appreciate Kate's courage and the importance of speaking out about the abuse of authority."His departure from Mrs May's top team marks the PM's third Cabinet resignation in under two months.Former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon and ex-international development secretary Priti Patel both stood down in November.A Labour Party Spokesperson, said: "It's right that the Prime Minister has finally been forced to sack Damian Green. The public deserve the highest standards from ministers which begs questions around the Prime Minister's judgement and why she delayed this decision for so long. To lose her number two in government in such a way, and so soon after two other ministers, leaves her further weakened."It is understood the PM summoned her lifelong friend to Downing Street on Wednesday evening, and is not planning to replace him until the new year.A source close to Brexit Secretary David Davis told Sky News he was not following through on a reported threat to resign in protest if Mr Green was forced out.
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Former Cabinet Minister, Andrew Mitchell, told Sky News: "These two admitted breaches of the ministerial code are dwarfed by the extraordinary behaviour of the police which fortunately is now under investigation by the proper authorities."Mr Green has been an MP since 1997, rising through the shadow cabinet ranks to ministerial posts in the home, justice and work and pensions departments.
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