Tory (lack of) power-base takes another hit.
The UK prime minister’s right hand man Damian Green has been fired from his post based on the allegations over pornography usage.
In an ongoing saga Damian Green was “asked to quit” after he made “inaccurate and misleading” statements over what he knew about claims pornography was found on his office computer in 2008.
Mr Green in his letter to the PM said, “From the outset I have been clear that I did not download or view pornography on my Parliamentary computers. 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.”
“The unfounded and deeply hurtful allegations that were being levelled at me were distressing both to me and my family and it is right that these are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s professional standards department.”
Prime Minister May responded by saying, “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.’’
For months, Mr Green, who was the secretary of state, lied about having had looked at the content on his office computer and work laptop which was said to be legal. To add to the embarrassment, he also reportedly apologised to a former colleague for making her feel uncomfortable!
This is may be trivialised for now, but is another blow for the UK government who also lost Priti Patel in November for speaking to Israeli leader Netanyahu in an unsanctioned meeting on ‘holiday’. Under pressure on how she has handled the Brexit negotiations so far – in fairness, stepping up to the plate was a brave (and/or naive) after David Cameron’s exit – Theresa May needs all the friends she can get at the moment as finding people to join her staff who take a centrist view on Brexit, is major problem. There are no shortage of hard and soft line Brexiteers (and Remainers) in camp, so good luck Mrs May.
There are no suggestions so far about who could replace Mr Green but the announcement may be made in the New Year as a parliamentary recess is scheduled to start today. It is expected amongst other UK media sources that the PM is set to shake up her backbenches and bring a fresh new look to her team next year after a string of losses, which have conspired to add fuel to the swing in sentiment towards Labour and an ever confident Jeremy Corbyn at the helm.
We are not quite at the heights of Conservative party scandals to the levels seen in the 1990’s, including Jonathan Aitken and his conviction for perjury, Ron Davies and the alleged Clapham Common mugging and David Mellor’s infidelity (in a Chelsea kit), but at a time when the Tories do not have an outright majority, highlights the fragility of Theresa May’s grasp on power in what is a momentous time for the UK. In light of this, the PM probably needs a little more support rather than that seen in the Pound.