British PM Theresa May forces her own deputy to resign after pornography scandal
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British PM Theresa May forces her own deputy to resign after pornography scandal

British Prime Minister Theresa May forced her most senior minister, Damian Green, to resign on Wednesday after an internal investigation found that he had made misleading comments about pornography

world Updated: Dec 21, 2017 23:27 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
British,London,Theresa May
Damian Green, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy, leaves his home in London, November 6, 2017. (Reuters File Photo)

Damian Green, a confidante of Prime Minister Theresa May since their days at Oxford and effectively the deputy prime minister, was unceremoniously asked to resign on Wednesday night over a pornography scandal, making him the third cabinet-level minister to leave since early November.

Michael Fallon resigned in the wake of sex allegations, while Priti Patel was dropped for her ministerial overreach during a holiday in Israel in August. As Britain winds down for the holiday season, Green’s exit is seen as a personal blow to May on Christmas eve.

Green, who was the first secretary of state, was sacked after an inquiry found he had breached the ministerial code by making “inaccurate and misleading” statements over what he knew about claims that pornography was found on his office computer in 2008.

May wrote after Green’s resignation that she was “extremely sad” to write the acceptance letter, recalling, “We have been friends and colleagues throughout our whole political lives - from our early days at university, entering the House of Commons at the same election, and serving alongside each other both in Opposition and in Government”.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed on Thursday that Green had been sacked because he lied in his recent statements, which was later assessed by a Cabinet Office inquiry that it amounted to breaching the ministerial code.

Cut-and-thrust politics related to Brexit continues to hover over the holiday season, with the next major round of talks in Brussels due in January.

After a roller-coaster of a year that included losing majority in a general election, May is increasingly seen as a lonely figure after dropping Green.

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 09:41 IST