When Damian Green was infamously arrested in 2008 as part of a Home Office leaks investigation it was Dominic Grieve who led the Tory backlash. The duo go back a long way having both attended Oxford University together, but there could be a more mysterious reason as to why Grieve felt the need to repay his old acquaintance.
Back in 1977, when current police minister Green was the president of the Oxford Union, he was threatened with legal action after accusing a group of fellow students – including former OUCA president Grieve – of throwing him off a bridge at Magdalen College. Budding young reporter and future sleuth Michael Crick, who edited the Cherwell student newspaper at the time, reported:
“The whole affair started at the end of the Magdalen guest night dinner on Sunday, where Green and Ceiri Roberts, this term’s Union returning officer, were guests of Peter Laing. Green was grabbed by about a dozen Magdalen undergraduates and some of their guests, and forcibly carried to the bridge over the Cherwell at the back of the College. There Green was dropped from a height of about twelve feet into one and a half feet of water. In his fall he missed being impaled on some rusty spikes by only a few inches. Fortunately it was his shoulder which hit the stony bottom first, but as Green told Cherwell: “I could easily have hit my head on the bottom, been concussed, and drowned.”
The rest, as they say, is history…