Damian Green Still Blogging About His ‘Commons Touch’

Damian Green is still blogging under the title ‘Commons Touch’; his pieces also go out as a newsletter under the same title. Time for a refresh?

Peston Let Down By “Three Well-Placed Sources”

“Damian Green will keep his job”, so said ITV’s political editor Robert Peston ten days ago, citing “three well-placed sources” who told him “there should be confirmation on Wednesday” that week. How did he get it so wrong? Peston’s always entertaining blog could have been used to see how the idea of letting Green off would go down with the Lobby. It’s possible the Cabinet Office and Number 10 hardened their position on Green’s fate as the inquiry continued into this week. Or Peston’s “well-placed” sources could just not be that well-placed…

Damian Green Resigns

The PM’s deputy goes after Sue Gray’s report found he breached the ministerial code…

Damian Green Report (Finally) Imminent

The Damian Green decision has been “imminent” at various points over the last 10 days depending on which paper you read. Guido understands that the final evidence was taken earlier this week and we are finally at the point where the findings can be announced. Green is answering questions about Brexit to the Lords EU committee at 2:15 pm. Everyone wants this wrapped up as soon as possible, Sue Gray’s report could be published as soon as this evening or tomorrow. 

Green’s survival comes down to how he and Number 10 answer the following: Did he lie? Did he break the ministerial code? Has he had any other inappropriate workplace relationships? Did he brief the press about Kate Maltby? Did anyone in Number 10 know about any of this before it became public? If the answer to any of these is yes, things are going to get messy…

Where Are the Dirty Dozen’s Promised Reports, Investigations and Decisions?

The Brexit noise is helpfully letting both the government and the Labour Party sit on the promised reports, investigations and decisions which followed the recent string of Westminster scandals. Here’s Guido’s run-down of the unfinished business from the past few weeks (and earlier)…

Jared O’Mara: Jared hasn’t been seen in Westminster since the scandal around him erupted in October and he hasn’t voted in the months since. He – or more likely, his whip – is submitting a number of very general written questions and signing the odd EDM to give the impression things are still ticking over. Jared is still under investigation after losing the Labour whip. He’s been off for weeks…

Keith Vaz: An investigation into Vaz by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is somehow still ongoing after a complaint was made about his rent boys and coke binge in September 2016 (Kathryn Hudson better hurry-up, she’s due to step-down by the end of this year). Vaz hasn’t voted since 18 October, though he did speak in the House last week. He is currently rumoured to be on a trip to the Middle East…

Damian Green: Westminster was on tenterhooks awaiting the release of Sue Gray’s report last week, but it didn’t materialise. It was rumoured to be on the agenda again yesterday but failed to appear. Putting off the inevitable seems to be distracting Damian from his job liaising with the DUP…

Mark Garnier: Remains under Cabinet Office investigation after the Mail on Sunday reported allegations in October that he sent an aide to buy sex toys and called her “sugar tits“. What on earth are they doing, interrogating the sex shop owner?

Kelvin Hopkins: Former Shadow Culture Secretary Kelvin Hopkins lost the Labour whip in November. The party is still investigating a complaint that Hopkins sent inappropriate text messages and made inappropriate physical contact at a student event in 2014. He is voting in line with Labour but hasn’t spoken since 25 October. No update from Labour…

Ivan LewisLabour is still investigating a complaint against Lewis, who denied allegations of sexual harassment after a woman said he touched her leg and invited her to his house when she was 19. He hasn’t voted since 31 October or spoken in the chamber since 25 October. No update…

Dan Poulter: MPs say they haven’t seen Dr Dan around Westminster since the Sunday Times reported allegations against him on 5 November. His office told the BBC he’s “on sick leave”. He last voted on 31 October and hasn’t spoken in the chamber since 11 July. The new Conservative Party disciplinary committee is yet to report its findings… 

Charlie Elphicke: Elphicke’s friends say is still unaware of what allegations have been made against him. He was told in November that allegations had been passed to the police, but there has been no news of any action. In the meantime, Elphicke is still without the whip. The chairman of his association recently backed him…

Stephen CrabbThe former Welsh Secretary is still under investigation by the Conservative Party for allegedly sexting a 19-year-old who applied for a job in his office in 2013. No update…

Chris Pincher: He resigned as a government whip after allegations in the Mail on Sunday that he had un-tucked the shirt of a male Tory. Pincher referred himself to the police. No news as to the outcome…

Daniel KawczynskiReferred to the Tories new disciplinary committee in November following allegations that he pressured a young researcher to go on a date with a businessman ‘older than her father’. Nothing heard yet…

Jack LoprestiA former staff member complained about Lopresti’s behaviour and a probe was launched last week. The complaint came via the Tories’ new code of conduct hotline…

What do Sue Gray, Kathryn Hudson and the Tory and Labour party internal inquiries get up to all day?

Tweet that Sank the No Border Deal… For Now

Above is the tweet that scuppered an historic “no border” deal with Ireland on Monday. Tony Connelly is the widely respected RTE journalist covering Brexit – British journalists have recently discovered his output and it now often underlies a lot of their “reports from Dublin”. At 11:16 he tweeted that he had seen a draft text promising ‘no regulatory divergence’. This spooked the DUP, who had been promised a form of words that would satisfy them that as Downing Street had reiterated that morning: “The UK is leaving the EU as a whole. The territorial and economic integrity of the UK will be protected.”

This tweet ricocheted around the media, Remain-leaning journalists went hyperbolic, some claiming that this meant Northern Ireland was staying behind in the single market, others claiming this meant the whole of the UK was not really leaving the EU’s regulatory regime. With broadcasters starved of developments, because May and Juncker were lunching behind closed doors, they continued to pile up punditry of this kind. All this was despite RTE’s Tony Connelly having tweeted a corrective only four minutes after the first tweet that the phrase, as anathema to Brexiteers as it is to the DUP, had been replaced by “continued regulatory alignment”.

Meanwhile Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, waiting impatiently before the Dublin media at a pre-scheduled press conference, unwisely claimed that the wording was basically the same either way. It isn’t. The DUP – never the most trusting when Westminster is dealing with Dublin – unsurprisingly pulled the plug. Who failed to keep the DUP in the loop…

Jess on DD

Jess Phillips responds to reports that David Davis could resign in protest if Damian Green is sacked:

“What made you want to become an MP” “Great question, I really wanted to fight hard so people can wank at work”

Cop: Porn Wasn’t Extreme But It Was Green Who Watched It

The police forensics officer who examined a computer seized from Damian Green’s parliamentary office has given an interview to the BBC. Neil Lewis says the First Secretary’s claim that it wasn’t him who watched the porn is implausible, and there is “no doubt whatsoever” in his mind that porn was accessed by Green:

“The computer was in Mr Green’s office, on his desk, logged in, his account, his name. 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.”

Green still denies the claims. Worth noting Lewis also says the material was not extreme – it could be a case of the coverup being worse than the crime here. Could Sue Gray’s inquiry finally release its findings today?

Emily Makes Damian Choke


Emily Thornberry dominated Damian Green at Prime Minister’s Questions with a touch so light it was but a table cloth flapping in the breeze. She kneed the disgraced First Secretary over and over again – where it really hurts him, the only place it really hurts any of them – in the ego.

Was he “happy to be held to the same standards in government that he required when he was in opposition?” This first, hard, full stroke shook the First Secretary, it landed with the weight of a Sue Gray report – and the moral force of one, too.

Yes, mistress, said Green: “All ministers should respect and obey the ministerial code.” A touching thought. 

One question in, it was very clear that the essence of politics was being laid bare. All politics is hypocrisy. All politicians are hypocrites. Continue reading

Green Doesn’t Take Chance to Apologise

John Mann gave Damian Green the chance to apologise at PMQs, he did not take him up on it. Answer heard in silence…

Thornberry Throws Green With Trick Question

Deft opening move from Emily Thornberry, who threw Damian Green by asking if he was happy to be held to the same standards in government that he required of others whilst in opposition. A startled Damian thought what we are all thinking. Turns out cunning Thorners was talking about an old PMQ he once asked on the NHS…

Majority Think Legal Porn on Work PC “Career Ending”

Interesting numbers out from ICM on the public’s attitude towards the nefarious activities of MPs. 54% think having legal porn on a work PC should be “career ending”. The vast majority say it is “unacceptable”. Some interesting polling for Sue Gray’s inquiry…

Damian Green Finds Lifeboat

Meanwhile Damian Green has inexplicably tweeted a photo of himself about to board a lifeboat. He needs one…

Assisting the Cabinet Office with Inquiries

ATTENTION:
Sue Gray
Director General, Propriety & Ethics Team

BEHAVIOUR OF DAMIAN GREEN

Since you haven’t contacted us with any inquiries about Damian Green we thought a note might be of assistance to your investigation.

In 2008 a parliamentary researcher contacted us and said she had been propositioned and invited by Damian Green to come back home with him after being told that his “wife was away”. She was furious and wanted us to expose him. We explained that would risk her name coming out if he denied it and sued. She did not want her name to come out and asked that we keep the matter confidential. Subsequently in an article we mentioned in passing that Damian Green was “not safe in taxis”. An intermediary contacted us to ask that we remove the reference to Mr Green, we declined on the grounds that it was true.

Recently, after we published the above story, a woman civil servant got in contact to tell us that she had been given an almost identical invitation. She is married and also would not want to be identified. She did however want us to know that the 2008 story was definitely not a one off.

If you make inquiries and guarantee confidentiality to informants we are confident you will find a widespread pattern of behaviour which is regularly very awkward for the young women Damian Green comes into contact with.

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up

The much-anticipated Sunday front pages make grim reading for the government. Theresa May’s de facto deputy Damian Green is tonight accused of having “extreme porn” found on one of his parliamentary computers. The Sunday Times says the discovery was made by cops when they raided Green’s office in 2008. Former Met Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick confirmed to the paper that his officers had found the material. Green tweeted a statement calling the claims “false, disreputable political smears” and says he was not informed of any porn being found. 

The paper counters that it has spoken to a police source other than Quick who also claims to have seen the porn. The splash reveals Quick will give evidence on Monday to Whitehall ethics supremo Sue Gray, who is leading the probe into Green. Kate Maltby, who tells The Sunday Times she knows difference between a hand and a tablecloth. will also give evidence and gives a sit down interview to the paper. Can Green cling on much longer?

Also in the Sunday Times, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen goes on the record saying he reported concerns about the behaviour of fellow backbencher Dan Poulter to the whips in 2010 – but claims he was ignored. Bridgen says he informed whips of comments made by female colleagues alleging Poulter put his hand up skirts. Bridgen has now reported Poulter using the new complaints procedure and an investigation is underway by the new disciplinary committee. Poulter denies the allegations.

Meanwhile, senior government whip Chris Pincher is under pressure as the Mail on Sunday splashes with the headline: Top Tory’s Bathrobe Pass At Male Aide“. Pincher is accused of trying to untuck the shirt of former Olympic rower and Tory aide Alex Story after taking him back to his London home. Story calls the MP “a pound shop Harvey Weinstein”. The story also references a widely heard rumour about Pincher trying it on with one-term Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop about which he refuses to commentDifficult to see how Pincher can remain a whip…

The Sunday Telegraph also turns fire on the whips office, reporting that concerns about the behaviour of both Fallon and Charlie Elphicke – who last night had the whip suspended – were raised repeatedly. Expect there to be considerable discussion about the propriety of the whips system. Tough first week for Julian Smith…

The Observer reveals Michael Fallon’s resignation was forced by journalist Jane Merrick. She says she told Number 10 at 5pm on Wednesday afternoon that the former Defence Secretary tried to kiss her when she was a 29-year-old reporter. It was the last straw for May…

The Sun on Sunday and Sunday People report allegations that an unnamed Tory MP sexually assaulted a Labour MP in a taxi. It’s alleged a date rape drug was used…

Earlier this evening Channel 4 News broadcast allegations that Tory backbencher Daniel Kawczynski asked a young female researcher to go on a date with a business contact. Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing says she loudly reprimanded Kawczynski for his request during a confrontation in one of the division lobbies. Kawczynski says he did ask a researcher to have coffee with a contact but denies a business deal was involved…

A huge spread of Sunday sleaze for the Tories to deal with tomorrow. Heads must surely roll… 

Soubry Calls For Green to Go

Anna Soubry calls for Damian Green to go:

“… You stand down, you remove yourself from this position until the conclusion of the investigation. That is what I would do.”

Damian Green Has A Strong Sex Drive, It’s Just Not Very Discriminating

Damian Green’s wife once said of him: “He’s got a very strong sex drive… He’s just not all that discriminating.” This is the least well kept secret in Westminster.

Unsheathing his sword of truth this morning and instructing libel lawyers, Kingsley Napley, presumably to go after The Sun, The Times, Guido, et al is brave deputy Prime Minister, very brave. If a writ arrives Guido will submit a defence: Truth.

Kate Maltby has recounted her story in The Times: the try on, a fleeting touch, the reference to the “understanding wife”, a hint of career advancement. This is a near identical story to one Guido was told a decade ago. The young woman concerned was an attractive Tory researcher who had even featured in one of Guido’s flattering Totty Watch articles. She told Guido she was furious because Damian Green had contrived to meet her alone and essentially invite her back to his place for some hanky panky, explaining that his wife was away. Sound familiar?

She wanted Guido to expose his behaviour, this – it was explained – would be difficult without her name coming out or at least her signing an affadavit. She decided against proceeding. Over the years Guido has heard a few stories, we even described him in 2008 as not safe in taxis.” After that story appeared, a well known figure in politics and the media called asking would we remove the reference? Guido said no. He sighed, “I thought you would say that…” We didn’t back down then and we won’t back down this time.

What is Damian Green actually guilty of? He is guilty of being a randy old fool.

Westminster Works Out Who is Top of Tory Sleaze Spreadsheet

Guido was careful to redact the Tory sleaze spreadsheet yesterday of any identifiers. Today’s Sun has unredacted sections of the spreadsheet, revealing that one “Cabinet minister” was found on the Ashley Madison adultery website. It also says he is “handsy at parties”. It is already in the public domain that Damian Green’s private email address was found on Ashley Madison in 2015, though he denied any involvement. As far back as 2008 Guido noted Green’s reputation for being “Not safe in taxis”. Shocked WhatsApp messages are pinging across Westminster as people piece together that it is the Deputy PM being referenced. Theresa May’s closest ally has effectively been outed in this morning’s Sun as being top of the list… 

Green: It Would Have Been Better If Remain Had Won

On Channel 4 News First Secretary of State Damian Green made clear he would vote Remain in another referendum and then on Newsnight he said “it would have been” better if Remain had won. You can only deliver Brexit if you believe in Brexit” said the PM in June, though her deputy obviously doesn’t…

Green Would Vote Remain Again

Theresa May’s deputy Damian Green has implied he would vote Remain again if there was another referendum:

“I was on the board of the Stronger In campaign so my views on Europe are well known and I don’t resile from anything I said”

Hardly a surprise given he has always been a huge Remainer, but it is somewhat odd for the top two people in the government to not be proponents of their own main policy.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
UKIP NEC Votes No Confidence In Bolton UKIP NEC Votes No Confidence In Bolton
Greenpeace Still Making Fake Wind Claims Greenpeace Still Making Fake Wind Claims
Sunday Show Highlights Sunday Show Highlights
Local Labour Members Want Jared Deselected Local Labour Members Want Jared Deselected
Last Days at BuzzFeed Last Days at BuzzFeed
Bolton: She Came Round But I Didn’t Sleep With Her Bolton: She Came Round But I Didn’t Sleep With Her
Jared Victim: He Shouldn’t Be Back in Westminster Jared Victim: He Shouldn’t Be Back in Westminster
Sick Jared Back to Work Sick Jared Back to Work
Ann Black Purged by Red Terror Ann Black Purged by Red Terror
Parole Board Admit Processes Breached Parole Board Admit Processes Breached
Paul Mason: Aggressive and Intimidating Paul Mason: Aggressive and Intimidating
James O’Brien’s Carillion Fake News Goes Viral James O’Brien’s Carillion Fake News Goes Viral
O’Mara Hasn’t Helped a Single Constituent in Months O’Mara Hasn’t Helped a Single Constituent in Months
Credit Where Credit’s Due Credit Where Credit’s Due
Osborne on Carillion: Then and Now Osborne on Carillion: Then and Now
Paul Mason’s Column Axed Paul Mason’s Column Axed
Lord Pannick Backs Gauke’s Judicial Review Lord Pannick Backs Gauke’s Judicial Review
“Get On Your Knees, B*tch” Clive Lewis Returns to Labour Frontbench in Reshuffle” “Get On Your Knees, B*tch” Clive Lewis Returns to Labour Frontbench in Reshuffle”
Vulnerable Children’s Data Breached at Labour-Run Leicester City Council Vulnerable Children’s Data Breached at Labour-Run Leicester City Council
Dover Traffic at Record Levels Dover Traffic at Record Levels