ALLIES of Cabinet minister Damian Green rushed to his defence yesterday after a retired Scotland Yard detective said thousands of pornographic images were found on the Tory MP’s work computer.
Neil Lewis told the BBC that he was “shocked” at the volume of material found during a raid on Mr Green’s Westminster office in 2008.
He stressed that none of the images was “extreme,” but analysis of the computer suggested that they had been viewed “extensively” over three months, sometimes for hours at a time.
“The computer was in Mr Green’s office, on his desk, logged in, his account, his name,” said Mr Lewis.
“In between browsing pornography, he was sending emails from his account, his personal account, reading documents … it was ridiculous to suggest anybody else could have done it.”
Mr Lewis rejected any suggestion that the material might have been placed on the machine by a hacker as “very bizarre,” pointing out that similar images had also been found on Mr Green’s laptop.
The retired detective said he had decided to back up allegations made by his former boss, then Met assistant commissioner Bob Quick, after Mr Green, who is effectively Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy, accused him of carrying out a “character assassination” in order to cause political damage.
Mr Green, who is the subject of a Cabinet Office inquiry into alleged inappropriate behaviour towards writer Kate Maltby, has denied looking at or downloading porn on the work computer.
Brexit Secretary David Davis has accused former police officers of seeking to besmirch the First Secretary of State’s name.
The Evening Standard reported that Mr Davis, who was shadow home secretary and therefore Mr Green’s boss at the time of the raid, had threatened to quit if his colleague was forced out.
Tory MP Andrew Mitchell said it was “highly questionable” and “wrong” for the former police officer to use the material nine years later to “blacken the name of a serving Cabinet minister.”
Mr Green, who was shadow immigration minister, was arrested in 2008 after obtaining leaked Whitehall documents while Labour was in government. Police searched his family home, his constituency office and his Commons office.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that, as is routine in such cases, its directorate of professional standards would investigate how the information came to be made public.