Damian Green

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The Right Honourable
Damian Green
Official portrait of Damian Green crop 2.jpg
First Secretary of State
Assumed office
11 June 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by George Osborne (2016)
Minister for the Cabinet Office
Assumed office
11 June 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Ben Gummer
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 61)
Barry, Glamorgan, Wales
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Alicia Collinson
Children 2
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
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 the First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office since 11 June 2017.[1] Green was born in Barry, 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.

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.

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.[3][4]

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 public affairs consultancy.

Political career[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.[5]

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[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] He returned to the frontbench under the leadership of David Cameron in 2005 as a spokesman on home affairs and shadow minister for immigration.[9]

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.[10][not in citation given]


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][11] The documents were reported to include information politically embarrassing to the then-Labour Government.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] It was criticised by political figures and journalists.[15][16] Green is reported by Andrew Marr to have believed he was the subject of a bugging operation, which would have required the authorisation of the Home Secretary, who stated that she had not granted any such order.[17] 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.[18]

A junior Home Office civil servant, Christopher Galley, subsequently admitted leaking four "embarrassing" documents to Green and was sacked.[19]

Green speaking to the media on a trip to Manchester

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".[20]

Police Minister[edit]

As Police Minister in the Coalition Government, Green called for increased partnerships between the police and the private sector.[21] His sacking in the 2014 cabinet reshuffle was met with some surprise as he was considered to be highly regarded by colleagues.[22][23]


Green was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[24]

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions[edit]

He was appointed as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by Theresa May in July 2016.[25]

First Secretary of State[edit]

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.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Damian Green married Alicia Collinson, a barrister, in April 1988 in the City of London. They have two daughters, both born in Hammersmith.[27]

As of 1 November 2017, Green is under investigation for his alleged conduct towards journalist Kate Maltby. Green has denied the accusations.[28] On 5 November 2017 he denied allegations that police found pornography on a computer in his office in Westminster during a raid in 2008. Green said that claims made by ex-police chief Bob Quick were "political smears"[29][30] though Sir Paul Stephenson then the Metropolitan Police Commissioner confirmed he was informed about the matter at the time but regarded it as a "side issue".[31]


  • 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


  1. ^ "Election 2017: Prime Minister and Cabinet appointments". UK Government. 11 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Senior Tory arrested over leaks". BBC News. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  3. ^ Marsden, Sam (12 January 2013). "'Class rivalry among Tories' behind 1977 attack on Damian Green at Oxford". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  4. ^ 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. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (20 May 1997). "House of Commons Hansard Debates". Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "Green calls for Tory compassion". BBC News. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Free Director Filings - Damian Green in Iver Heath, Sidcup". directorstats.co.uk. 
  8. ^ "Watch As John McDonnell Blasts A Top Tory For Making A 'Fortune' Out Of The Water Industry". 21 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "UK | Q&A: Damian Green affair". BBC News. 12 October 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "MP for Ashford". Damian Green. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Winnett, Robert; Kirkup, James (28 November 2008). "Tory shadow minister Damian Green arrested after obtaining leaked documents". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  12. ^ "Q&A: The Damian Green Affair". The Guardian. 4 December 2008. 
  13. ^ "Damian Green raid: Pressure on Speaker Michael Martin to go". The Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2008
  14. ^ Elliot, Francis; Ford, Richard (28 November 2008). "Tory frontbench MP Damian Green arrested over leaks". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  15. ^ Chakrabarti, Shami (30 November 2008). "This arrest of an MP is a threat to us all". Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  16. ^ "Harman concerned at Green affair". Sky News. 30 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  17. ^ "MP's arrest not Stalinist - Smith". BBC News. 30 November 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  18. ^ "MP's home swept for 'police bugs'". BBC News. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  19. ^ Summers, Deborah (24 April 2009). "Damian Green leaks civil servant sacked". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  20. ^ "MP Will not be charged". BBC News. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  21. ^ 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. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  22. ^ "William Hague quits as a dozen ministers axed in cabinet reshuffle". The Daily Telegraph. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  23. ^ Mason, Rowena (15 July 2014). "Five ministers departing David Cameron's team". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  24. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  25. ^ "Crabb resigns as Work and Pensions Secretary". BBC News. 14 July 2016. 
  26. ^ "Theresa May carries out Cabinet reshuffle". BBC News. 11 June 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
  28. ^ Craig, Jon (1 November 2017). "Investigation launched into accusations of inappropriate behaviour by Damian Green". Sky News. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  29. ^ https://news.sky.com/story/senior-pm-ally-damian-green-denies-computer-porn-claims-11114522
  30. ^ "Minister denies computer porn allegations". BBC News. 5 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017. 
  31. ^ "Police chief 'was told of Damian Green pornography claims'". BBC News. 12 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 

External links[edit]

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

Political offices
Preceded by
Theresa May
as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills
Succeeded by
Tim Yeo
Preceded by
Tim Collins
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
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
Succeeded by
Mark Harper
Preceded by
Nick Herbert
Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice
Succeeded by
Mike Penning
Preceded by
Stephen Crabb
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Succeeded by
David Gauke
Title last held by
George Osborne
First Secretary of State
Preceded by
Ben Gummer
Minister for the Cabinet Office