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Damian Green is irreplaceable for the PM

Damian Green was not going to resign voluntarily.
That is why the exchange of letters between the PM and her close friend and effective deputy is so extraordinary.
It pretty clearly outlines what is often clear but never explicitly said: that Mr Green was told to resign by the PM.It also explains why the PM went to the trouble of getting a second opinion from a senior civil servant on the ministerial code breaches.The Prime Minister's confidant and de facto deputy prime minister was sacked not because of the substance of allegations swirling around Westminster, but because of misleading statements about old allegations of computer pornography.He is the third Cabinet minister to go in seven weeks, after Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel's return to the backbenches.And the timing comes just as Number 10 may have felt it was getting its mojo back - finally passing the EU Withdrawal Bill through committee stage and handling another rebellion-averting U-turn on the exit date amendment with the minimum of fuss.The conundrum on replacing him may well test the fragile Cabinet peace.The Cabinet requires a perceived balance on Brexit matters that has been likened to the Lebanese constitution with specific roles preserved for different communities.Likewise, having been defeated by a Remainish rebellion, keeping the party together will require a similar figure.:: Damian Green out: Read the letters in full
Damian Green is irreplaceable for the PM

Image:
Damian Green, who has resigned, gets into a car
Jeremy Hunt is the person most commonly mentioned by the MPs filing out of the Commons after the news last night.Amber Rudd too, but there will also be a notable push for the talents of Michael Gove from Brexiters.
William Hague had ruled himself out of the running.Space will be created for new talent to be promoted into the Cabinet too in this reshuffle in January.The real point though is that Damian Green is irreplaceable for the PM.There aren't many in the PM's inner circle, and he sat atop it.He chaired several Cabinet subcommittees and was enjoying handling the complexities of selling Brexit to devolved administrations.Ultimately, he could have survived had he not overly aggressively dismissed the allegations emerging from police sources in the aftermath of the article by journalist and former family friend Kate Maltby.He is still infuriated by the actions of former police officers revealing confidential information.His allies say that such actions dwarf Mr Green's own breaches of the ministerial code.It is a final act of an extraordinary political year.The PM's supporters who banged their appreciation at the 1922 Committee a few hours before the Green news now want her to get out of survival mode.
More from Damian Green

Theresa May calls for leaking cops to be 'properly investigated'


Damian Green's letter to the PM and hers to her deputy


Ex-police chief Bob Quick threatens to sue Damian Green over computer porn lie claims


Investigation launched after MPs reveal they share passwords


'Unacceptable' to watch porn at work says minister amid Damian Green row


Former police chief condemns Damian Green pornography claim leak

She now has to make some very big decisions about the future shape of Brexit.She will do so without her closest political ally by her side.
news.sky.com
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