Damian Green

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The Right Honourable
Damian Green
MP
Official portrait of Damian Green crop 2.jpg
First Secretary of State
In office
11 June 2017 – 20 December 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by George Osborne (2016)
Succeeded by Vacant
Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
11 June 2017 – 20 December 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Ben Gummer
Succeeded by David Lidington (2018)
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
In office
14 July 2016 – 11 June 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Stephen Crabb
Succeeded by David Gauke
Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice
In office
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Nick Herbert
Succeeded by Mike Penning
Minister of State for Immigration
In office
13 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Phil Woolas (Borders and Immigration)
Succeeded by Mark Harper
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
In office
11 November 2003 – 8 September 2004
Leader Michael Howard
Preceded by Tim Collins
Succeeded by Tim Yeo (Environment and Transport)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills
In office
18 September 2001 – 11 November 2003
Leader Iain Duncan Smith
Preceded by Theresa May (Education and Employment)
Succeeded by Tim Yeo
Member of Parliament
for Ashford
Assumed office
2 May 1997
Preceded by Keith Speed
Majority 17,478 (29.2%)
Personal details
Born Damian Howard Green
(1956-01-17) 17 January 1956 (age 62)
Barry, Wales, UK
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Alicia Collinson
Children 2
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Signature
Website Official website

Damian Howard Green (born 17 January 1956) is a British politician who has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for Ashford since 1997 and was the First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office from 11 June 2017[1] to 20 December 2017. Green was born in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales and studied PPE at Balliol College, Oxford. Before entering politics, Green worked as a journalist for the BBC, Channel 4 and The Times.

Green entered Parliament in the 1997 election by winning the seat of Ashford in Kent. He served in several shadow ministerial positions, including Transport Secretary and Immigration Minister. Green came to national prominence in November 2008 after being arrested and having his parliamentary office raided by police, although no case was brought.[2]

He was the Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice until 14 July 2014. He was appointed as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2016. Following the June 2017 general election, he was appointed First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office. After the results of an inquiry into allegations that he sexually harassed a woman and viewed pornography on a work computer were published, it was found that he had breached the ministerial code and he was instructed to resign from the Cabinet.[3]

Early life[edit]

Damian Green was born in Barry, Glamorgan, Wales. He grew up in Reading, Berkshire and was educated at Reading School and then at Balliol College, Oxford where he was awarded a BA degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in 1977. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1977 and was the vice-chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students (now known as Conservative Future) from 1980 until 1982.[citation needed]

During his time at Oxford, Green broke a wrist after a group of fellow students ambushed him and threw him into the River Cherwell. Reportedly the group included Dominic Grieve, who was later to serve alongside Green as a Cabinet Minister.[4][5]

Early career[edit]

In 1978 he was appointed by BBC Radio as a financial journalist, before joining Channel 4 News as a business producer in 1982. He joined The Times for a year in 1984 as the business news editor before returning to television journalism and Channel 4 as the business editor in 1985. He became the City editor and also a television presenter on Channel 4's Business Daily television programme in 1987 until he left television to join Prime Minister John Major's Policy Unit in 1992. Green had acted as an occasional speechwriter for Major since 1988. He left 10 Downing Street in 1994 to run his own consultancy in public affairs.

Political career[edit]

Election[edit]

He stood against Labour's Ken Livingstone in Brent East at the 1992 general election, but lost by 5,971 votes. He was elected to the House of Commons for the Kent seat of Ashford at the 1997 general election following the retirement of Tory MP Keith Speed. Green held the seat with a majority of 5,345 and has remained the constituency's MP. He made his maiden speech on 20 May 1997.[6]

Shadow Ministerial career[edit]

While a backbencher, he was a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee from 1997 until his appointment to the frontbench by William Hague in 1998 as a spokesman on education and employment. He spoke on the environment from 1999 and was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet by Iain Duncan Smith in 2001 as the Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills. In 2003, Michael Howard gave him the position of Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. In September 2004, he left the frontbench altogether of his own accord[7] and joined the Home Affairs Select Committee, and was a member of the Treasury Committee after the 2005 general election.

Whilst sitting as an MP he was a non-executive director of Mid Kent Water from 2005 to 2007, and of the successor company South East Water until 2010.[8] Between July 2009 and February 2010, Green was paid £16,666.64 for 112 hours by South East Water for "attending meetings and offering advice" according to the House of Commons Record of Members Interests.[9] He returned to the frontbench under the leadership of David Cameron in 2005 as a spokesman on home affairs and shadow minister for immigration.[10]

Green is Chairman of Parliamentary Mainstream, a vice-president of the Tory Reform Group and is a vice-chairman of the John Smith Memorial Trust.[11][not in citation given]

Expenses claims[edit]

During the UK parliamentary expenses scandal The Daily Telegraph newspaper revealed that although Green's constituency is a 45-minute commute from Westminster, he charged the taxpayer[citation needed] for his expenses for a designated second home in Acton, west London.[12] Green has regularly claimed expenses up to the maximum of £400 for food. He has also charged taxpayers[citation needed] for the interest on his mortgage, for his council tax, and for his phone bills.[13]

Arrest[edit]

Green was arrested by the Metropolitan Police at his constituency home on 27 November 2008 on suspicion of "aiding and abetting misconduct in public office" and "conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office".[2][14] The documents were reported to include information politically embarrassing to the then-Labour Government.[15] He was later released on bail. In a statement to Parliament on 3 December, Michael Martin, Speaker of the House of Commons, responsible for the security of the Palace of Westminster, stated that although the police undertaking the search had neither presented a search warrant nor given "the requisite advice that such a warrant was necessary", the search of the Parliamentary office had been undertaken with the express written consent of the Serjeant-at-Arms, who had signed a consent form without consulting the Clerk of the House.[16]

Green speaking at a Policy Exchange meeting in 2013

The arrest led to speculation about the apparent coincidence that it was authorised on the last day in office of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.[17] It was criticised by political figures and journalists.[18][19] It was reported in The Andrew Marr Show that he believed he was the subject of a bugging operation, which would have required the authorisation of the Home Secretary. Jacqui Smith stated that she had not granted any such order.[20] Green's constituency agent subsequently confirmed that a search of Green's property and car had been commissioned, but that no listening devices were discovered.[21]

A junior Home Office civil servant, Christopher Galley, subsequently admitted leaking four "embarrassing" documents to Green and was sacked.[22] On 16 April 2009, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it was not going to bring a case against either Green or Galley as there was "insufficient evidence".[23]

Illegal immigrants[edit]

Green is an advocate of allowing illegal immigrants to return to the UK sooner.[24] He has supported voluntary return for overstayers and other migrants in order to avoid deportation, claiming "we expect those with no right to be in the country to leave voluntarily". In 2011, in his role as Immigration Minister, he relaxed a 5-year re-entry ban to two years.[25] He has stated that the illegal immigrants being in the UK for a "shorter period of time" was a positive and "saves money".[24]

Police Minister[edit]

As Police Minister in the Coalition Government, Green called for increased partnerships between the police and the private sector.[26] His sacking in the 2014 cabinet reshuffle was met with some surprise as he was considered to be highly regarded by colleagues.[27][28]

Brexit[edit]

Green was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 EU membership referendum.[29]

Theresa May ministry[edit]

He was appointed as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by Theresa May in July 2016.[30]

He was appointed as First Secretary of State on 11 June 2017, as part of the cabinet reshuffle following the 2017 general election, effectively making him May's deputy. He was also promoted to Minister for the Cabinet Office.[31]

Sexual harassment and pornography allegations[edit]

During the 2017 Westminster sexual scandals revelations, a Cabinet Office inquiry was started into allegations Green sent suggestive text messages and "fleetingly" touched the knee of a young Conservative activist. He disputes this, stating it's "absolutely and completely untrue that I’ve ever made any sexual advances on Ms [Kate] Maltby".[32] Both Baroness Helena Kennedy and journalist Rosamund Urwin backed Maltby's claims, affirming that she confided in them over a year before making her claims public. Urwin published Facebook messages and time stamps showing that Maltby had complained to her, and detailed her earlier experience with Green, within four minutes of receiving Green's inappropriate text message in 2016.[33][34] The Guido Fawkes website also published anonymous allegations from two other women who refused to speak on the record but described experiences similar to that alleged by Maltby.[35][36]

During this investigation, allegations emerged that pornography was found on Green's work computer when he was arrested over leaks in 2008. He said this was a "political smear".[37] The police detective computer forensics expert who examined the computer when Green was arrested rebutted this in early December 2017, stating: "The computer was in Mr Green’s office, on his desk, logged in, his account, his name ... it was ridiculous to suggest anybody else could have done it".[38] The expert is being investigated for keeping copies of confidential material unrelated to the case he was on, and then releasing it to the public.[39] Green denied that he downloaded or looked at such images.[38][40] Green said that the claims made by the retired Bob Quick were "political smears".[41][42] Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson confirmed that he was informed about the matter at the time but regarded it as a "side issue".[43]

On 20 December 2017, Green was removed from his position; it was found that he had lied to colleagues over pornography found on his computer. The report concluded that Green's conduct as a Minister had "generally been both professional and proper", but that regarding the allegations by Maltby, although the private nature of their meetings meant that it was "not possible to reach a definitive conclusion" regarding his behaviour towards her, the report found her account to be "plausible".[44] In his resignation letter, Green said that he deeply regretted the distress to Maltby that the reaction to her article about him had caused, and although maintaining that he did not recognise the events described in it, he "clearly made her feel uncomfortable" and apologised for doing so.[45] May had asked him to resign and accepted his resignation, although stating that she had "greatly appreciated" his hard work and contribution to her team and that it was "right" that he had apologised to Maltby.[46]

A few days later, Green faced calls to stand down as an MP, following the disclosure of a "dirty tricks" campaign which appeared to target his accuser.[47] It emerged that text messages passed to the Mail on Sunday, allegedly sent between Maltby and Green before she made her complaint, had been edited and rewritten in order to inaccurately suggest that Maltby, rather than Green, had encouraged a continued close relationship and solicited a meeting between the two.[48] After contacting Maltby prior to publication, the Mail on Sunday corrected one series of messages and the newspaper later issued a further post-publication correction acknowledging that it had published a second forged message and falsely attributed it to her.[49] The faked message and subsequent article falsely accused of her of having flirtatiously texted Green that she regretted his absence from his party, because in his stead one of his aides had "been smooching the room on your behalf x".[50]

The Tory MP Anna Soubry, previously an ally of Green, and like him a Remain voter, told the Sunday Times that attempts to smear Maltby were "wrong and shameful". Another Tory MP said: "It appears that Green’s allies barely paused for breath after he apologised for the distress caused to Kate Maltby before launching an attack. It smacks of a dirty tricks campaign and is unhelpful to the government when it is still dealing with the fallout of the Westminster harassment scandal."[48] Maltby and her supporters had accused Green of also being behind a negative, anonymously-briefed attack on her written by the Daily Mail journalist Andrew Pierce. Her parents, in a statement, responded angrily to claims made by Pierce that they disapproved of her actions and condemned "the attempted campaign in certain sections of the media to denigrate and intimidate her and other witnesses".[51] Writing in the Sunday Times, Maltby alleged that Daily Mail attack had been coordinated by Green's team and formed part of a broader strategy of witness intimidation. Maltby alleged that two other women had intended to make allegations against Green, but "as a result" of the Daily Mail' coverage of her own complaint, "immediately backed out".[52] In May 2018, the Daily Mail paid £11,000 towards Malby's legal costs after she prepared to go to court regarding Pierce's article. The article was removed from the Mail's website without an admission of fault.[53]

Publications[edit]

  • ITN Budget Factbook, 1984, ITN
  • ITN Budget Factbook, 1985, ITN
  • ITN Budget Factbook, 1986, ITN
  • Better BBC: Public Service Broadcasting in the '90s, 1990, Centre for Policy Studies ISBN 1-870265-77-7
  • Freedom of the Airwaves, 1990, CPC ISBN 0-85070-806-0
  • Communities in the Countryside, 1995. ISBN 1-874097-11-9
  • The Cross Media Revolution: Ownership and Control, Edited by Damian Green, 1995, University of Luton Press ISBN 0-86196-545-0
  • Regulating the Media in the Digital Age, 1997, European Media Forum
  • 21st Century Conservatism, 1998
  • The Four Failures of the New Deal, 1998, Centre for Policy Studies ISBN 1-897969-84-8

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Election 2017: Prime Minister and Cabinet appointments". UK Government. 11 June 2017. Archived from the original on 13 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Senior Tory arrested over leaks". BBC News. 28 November 2008. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  3. ^ Rayner, Gordon; Hope, Christopher (20 December 2017). "Theresa May's effective deputy Damian Green quits over pornography cover-up". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 December 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017. 
  4. ^ Marsden, Sam (12 January 2013). "'Class rivalry among Tories' behind 1977 attack on Damian Green at Oxford". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  5. ^ McSmith, Andy; Peck, Tom (9 January 2013). "Water under the bridge? Attorney General Dominic Grieve 'threw Police minister Damian Green off bridge'.... but it was 35 years ago while the pair were at university". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (20 May 1997). "House of Commons Hansard Debates". Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Green calls for Tory compassion". BBC News. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "Free Director Filings - Damian Green in Iver Heath, Sidcup". directorstats.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. 
  9. ^ "Watch As John McDonnell Blasts A Top Tory For Making A 'Fortune' Out Of The Water Industry". 21 May 2017. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. 
  10. ^ "UK | Q&A: Damian Green affair". BBC News. 12 October 2009. Archived from the original on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "MP for Ashford". Damian Green. Archived from the original on 29 July 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  12. ^ MPs' expenses: 25 things you'd never have known Some of the MPs' expenses claims that would not have been made public but for The Telegraph's disclosures - telegraph.co.uk - 20 June 2009 Archived 5 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ MPs' expenses: Full list of MPs investigated by The Telegraph All of the MPs named by The Telegraph's Expenses Files investigation. The Houses of Parliament in Westminster: MPs' expenses: Full list of MPs investigated by the Telegraph The Houses of Parliament in Westminster - telegraph.co.uk - 8 May 2009 Archived 4 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Winnett, Robert; Kirkup, James (28 November 2008). "Tory shadow minister Damian Green arrested after obtaining leaked documents". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  15. ^ "Q&A: The Damian Green Affair". The Guardian. 4 December 2008. Archived from the original on 8 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "Damian Green raid: Pressure on Speaker Michael Martin to go" Archived 10 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. The Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2008
  17. ^ Elliot, Francis; Ford, Richard (28 November 2008). "Tory frontbench MP Damian Green arrested over leaks". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  18. ^ Chakrabarti, Shami (30 November 2008). "This arrest of an MP is a threat to us all". Sunday Times. London. Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  19. ^ "Harman concerned at Green affair". Sky News. 30 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  20. ^ "MP's arrest not Stalinist - Smith". BBC News. 30 November 2008. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  21. ^ "MP's home swept for 'police bugs'". BBC News. 5 December 2008. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  22. ^ Summers, Deborah (24 April 2009). "Damian Green leaks civil servant sacked". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  23. ^ "MP Will not be charged". BBC News. 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  24. ^ a b "Illegal Migrants Can Return To UK Sooner". Sky News. 16 March 2011. Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. 
  25. ^ "Asylum seekers to be asked: will you leave for £3,000?". The Times. 13 January 2006. 
  26. ^ Morris, Nigel (11 September 2012). "New policing minister Damian Green calls for private sector to take a greater role in police work despite G4S shambles". Independent. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  27. ^ "William Hague quits as a dozen ministers axed in cabinet reshuffle". The Daily Telegraph. 15 July 2014. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  28. ^ Mason, Rowena (15 July 2014). "Five ministers departing David Cameron's team". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  29. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  30. ^ "Crabb resigns as Work and Pensions Secretary". BBC News. 14 July 2016. Archived from the original on 14 July 2016. 
  31. ^ "Theresa May carries out Cabinet reshuffle". BBC News. 11 June 2017. Archived from the original on 11 June 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  32. ^ Weaver, Matthew (1 November 2017). "Damian Green denies making sexual advances towards young Tory activist". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 November 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  33. ^ Murphy, Joe (2 November 2017). "Kate Maltby 'told me a year ago about Damian Green', says top QC Baroness Helena Kennedy". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  34. ^ Urwin, Rosamund. "My part in the 'Maltby Messages' and why I am revealing them now". The Evening Standard"date=1 December 2017. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  35. ^ "Assisting the Cabinet Office with Inquiries - Guido Fawkes". 6 November 2017. 
  36. ^ "Damian Green Has A Strong Sex Drive, It's Just Not Very Discriminating - Guido Fawkes". 1 November 2017. 
  37. ^ "Damian Green says computer porn allegations are 'political smears'". BBC News. 5 November 2017. Archived from the original on 6 November 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  38. ^ a b Danny Shaw (1 December 2017). "Damian Green computer porn claims: 'Thousands' of images viewed". BBC News. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  39. ^ Martin Evans (1 December 2017). "Scotland Yard now investigating retired police officer over Damian Green 'porn' revelations". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  40. ^ Craig, Jon (1 November 2017). "Investigation launched into accusations of inappropriate behaviour by Damian Green". Sky News. Archived from the original on 1 November 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017. 
  42. ^ "Minister denies computer porn allegations". BBC News. 5 November 2017. Archived from the original on 5 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017. 
  43. ^ "Police chief 'was told of Damian Green pornography claims'". BBC News. 12 November 2017. Archived from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  44. ^ "SUMMARY OF THE CABINET SECRETARY'S REPORT ON ALLEGATIONS ABOUT DAMIAN GREEN'S CONDUCT" (PDF). Government of the United Kingdom. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 December 2017. 
  45. ^ Kentish, Ben. "Damian Green's resignation letter in full: read it here". Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. 
  46. ^ Greenfield, Patrick (20 December 2017). "Damian Green resigns as first secretary of state after porn allegations". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 December 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017. 
  47. ^ Rayner, Gordon (24 December 2017). "Damian Green faces calls to stand down as MP after accusation of 'dirty tricks' against Kate Maltby". The Telegraph. 
  48. ^ a b Jon Ungoed‑Thomas, Tom Harper, Caroline Wheeler and (24 December 2017). "Damian Green accused of 'dirty tricks' over leaked text messages". The Times. 
  49. ^ "KateMaltby on Twitter". 
  50. ^ "MoS corrects story based on Damian Green texts after journalist Maltby says they were 'crudely edited' – Press Gazette". www.pressgazette.co.uk. 2 January 2018. 
  51. ^ Martinson, Jane (24 December 2017). "The press's war on Kate Maltby risks a Leveson revival". the Guardian. 
  52. ^ Maltby, Kate (24 December 2017). "Kate Maltby: I wanted just one word. So, Mr Green, are you sorry now?". The Times. 
  53. ^ Elgot, Jessica (23 May 2018). "Daily Mail to pay Kate Maltby £11,000 costs over negative article". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2018. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Keith Speed
Member of Parliament
for Ashford

1997–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Theresa May
as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Tim Yeo
Preceded by
Tim Collins
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
2003–2004
Succeeded by
Tim Yeo
as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment and Transport
Preceded by
Phil Woolas
as Minister of State for Borders and Immigration
Minister of State for Immigration
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Mark Harper
Preceded by
Nick Herbert
Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Mike Penning
Preceded by
Stephen Crabb
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
2016–2017
Succeeded by
David Gauke
Vacant
Title last held by
George Osborne
First Secretary of State
2017
Vacant
Preceded by
Ben Gummer
Minister for the Cabinet Office
2017
Succeeded by
David Lidington