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Anorak | Damian Green, Jacqui Smith and watching porn on The Job

Damian Green, Jacqui Smith and watching porn on The Job

by | 2nd, December 2017

Who do the police work for? Asking because Cabinet Office Minister Damian Green, effectively Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy, allegedly had porn on his computer when police raided his office in 2008. Neil Lewis, a former Scotland Yard detective, tells media he found “thousands” of thumbnails of dirty photos in Green’s computer’s browser cache. There was, says Lewis, “no doubt whatsoever” that the porn was accessed by Green.

Green says if there was any porn found, it wasn’t his.

Which leads us to wonder: why would Lewis allegedly keep personal copies of potentially damaging information on an elected MP and cabinet minister? If the information was obtained during paid work hours, why has he got it out of the office? Or is this just about two men allegedly sharing the same taste in smut, storing thumbnails being the modern take on finding a jazz mag in a hedge?

Lewis told the BBC:

“The computer was in Mr Green’s office on his desk, logged in, you know, his account, his name. In between browsing pornography he was sending emails from his account, his personal account, reading documents, writing documents and it was just impossible it was exclusive and extensive that, you know, it was ridiculous to suggest that anybody else could have done it.”

A spokesman for Mr Green tells us, precisely:

“From the outset he has been very clear that he never watched or downloaded pornography on the computers seized from his office.”

The police add in a statement:

“Confidential information gathered during a police inquiry should not be made public. The appropriate course of action is to co-operate privately with the Cabinet Office inquiry as the Metropolitan Police Service has done.”

Jim Waterson, of Buzzfeed News, tweeted:

“The headline on this Damian Green story should be ‘The police don’t delete your data when ordered to do so and are liable to leak details of the legal porn they found in order to embarrass you’.”

And what about the quality of that porn? Thumbnail photos? Is looking at small aides to masturbation likely to make you go blind faster that the A4 shots?

Matthew Parris in the Times:

Be clear: all sides agree that none of the alleged material was illegal, and his accusers have withdrawn any claim it was “extreme”. Nobody is suggesting this was anything other than mainstream internet porn of the kind millions of men, probably most men, many journalists and many policemen, have accessed. There is a debate about pornography and the law but the fact remains: if Mr Green did what the police alleged (and he denies) he would have broken no law. Yet, now he is wounded, they close in on him.

The Register adds:

Lewis’s claims are also subtly different from other police leaks aimed at Green: a month ago Bob Quick, a disgraced former assistant commissioner of the Met, described Green as having “extreme” porn – which is illegal to own. Quick was sacked from the Met for letting press photographers see details of a secret briefing document as he walked into Downing Street, though he was also head of the police inquiry which decided to arrest Green.

And the backstory?

Green is under investigation by Parliamentary authorities for allegedly inappropriate behaviour with a young Conservative activist. He denies any wrongdoing.

The Guardian has more backgroundbin a story entitled “Damian Green and the decade-long feud with ex-Met officer Bob Quick”:

The decade-long feud between Damian Green and Bob Quick, now coming to a head with a Cabinet Office investigation into Green, can be traced back to a day in 2006 when a young civil servant working in Jacqui Smith’s Home Office was allegedly told by the now first secretary of state to get “as much dirt on the Labour party, the Labour government as possible”…

The Jacqui Smith who in 2011 was reported on the BBC thus:

Jacqui Smith has revealed she felt “frozen rather than angry” when told her husband had entered a parliamentary expenses claim for pornographic films. The former Labour home secretary told Radio Times she felt “protective” towards Richard Timney, despite the episode ending her political career.

Ms Smith said she had not gone “through the expense form closely enough”…

Despite outlawing violent pornography while she was home secretary, she said she was “shocked” at the amount of hardcore material still available on the internet. Asked if her husband had known about this, he might not have chosen pay-per-view films, she replied: “Yes, that’s what my 17-year-old son said: ‘Dad, haven’t you heard of the internet?'”

 

 

Back to the Guardian:

Over the course of the next two years Galley got a job in the home secretary’s private office and passed at least 31 separate documents, some classified restricted, from the heart of Smith’s department including from her private office’s inbox and private outer office safe.

Green made maximum use of the documents to secure damaging headlines in the Daily Mail, Sunday Telegraph and other papers…

In the Mail, any word on that?

Damian Green and Bob Quick crossed swords in 2008 when the Met assistant commissioner took dramatic action in an inquiry into leaks from the force. Mr Quick decided to arrest then then shadow immigration minister.
The Tory MP was held for nine hours while his Commons office, two homes and constituency office, were searched and computers removed by counter-terrorism officers.

The episode sparked a huge inquest at the Commons into whether parliamentary privilege should have protected the material held by an MP.

Adding:

In the ensuing political storm, it emerged Mr Quick’s wife was running a car hire firm from their home and details of their address were published on a website.

Or as the Guardian reports:

Three weeks later Quick, in a move he later regretted, publicly accused the Tories “and their press friends” of “acting in a wholly corrupt way” to try to undermine his investigation into Green.

What had provoked his anger was a Mail on Sunday article detailing a wedding chauffeur business run by his wife, Judith, from the family home.

As newspapers score points by omission and inclusion, Parris has the last word:

What Damian Green was alleged to have watched might be thought disgusting, but what two former Met officers have been up to is little short of sinister. Disgust can rule the headlines and may win the day, but former police officers are trying to destroy a senior minister with whom they have clashed. This is London, not Chicago. Parliamentarians, in retreat for a decade now, should unite to push back.

One day they’ll let robots run us…



Posted: 2nd, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink