Damian Howard Green (born 17 January 1956) is a British politician who has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for Ashford since 1997 and was the First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office from 11 June 2017 to 20 December 2017. Green was born in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales and studied PPE at Balliol College, Oxford. Before entering politics, Green worked as a journalist for the BBC, Channel 4 and The Times.
|Chairman of the |
One Nation Conservative Caucus
|Assumed office |
24 July 2019
|Preceded by||Nicky Morgan & |
|First Secretary of State|
11 June 2017 – 20 December 2017
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||George Osborne (2016)|
|Succeeded by||Dominic Raab (2019)|
|Minister for the Cabinet Office|
11 June 2017 – 20 December 2017
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||Ben Gummer|
|Succeeded by||David Lidington|
|Secretary of State for Work and Pensions|
14 July 2016 – 11 June 2017
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||Stephen Crabb|
|Succeeded by||David Gauke|
|Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice|
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2014
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Nick Herbert|
|Succeeded by||Mike Penning|
|Minister of State for Immigration|
13 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Phil Woolas|
|Succeeded by||Mark Harper|
|Shadow Secretary of State|
11 November 2003 – 8 September 2004
|Preceded by||Tim Collins|
|Succeeded by||Tim Yeo|
|Shadow Secretary of State|
for Education and Skills
18 September 2001 – 11 November 2003
|Leader||Iain Duncan Smith|
|Preceded by||Theresa May|
|Succeeded by||Tim Yeo|
|Member of Parliament|
|Assumed office |
1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Keith Speed|
Damian Howard Green
17 January 1956
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
Green entered Parliament in the 1997 election by winning the seat of Ashford in Kent. He served in several shadow ministerial positions, including Transport Secretary and Immigration Minister. Green came to national prominence in November 2008 after being arrested and having his parliamentary office raided by police, although no case was brought.
He was the Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice until 14 July 2014. He was appointed as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2016. Following the June 2017 general election, he was appointed First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office.
After the results of an inquiry into allegations that he sexually harassed a woman and viewed pornography on a work computer were published, it was found that he had breached the ministerial code and he was instructed to resign from the Cabinet.
Damian Green was born in Barry, Glamorgan, Wales. He grew up in Reading, Berkshire and was educated at Reading School and then at Balliol College, Oxford where he was awarded a BA degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in 1977. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1977 and was the vice-chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students (now known as Conservative Future) from 1980 until 1982.
During his time at Oxford, Green broke a wrist after a group of fellow students ambushed him and threw him into the River Cherwell. Reportedly the group included Dominic Grieve, who was later to serve alongside Green as a Cabinet Minister.
In 1978 he was appointed by BBC Radio as a financial journalist, before joining Channel 4 News as a business producer in 1982. He joined The Times for a year in 1984 as the business news editor before returning to television journalism and Channel 4 as the business editor in 1985. He became the City editor and also a television presenter on Channel 4's Business Daily television programme in 1987 until he left television to join Prime Minister John Major's Policy Unit in 1992. Green had acted as an occasional speechwriter for Major since 1988. He left 10 Downing Street in 1994 to run his own consultancy in public affairs.
Green stood against Labour's Ken Livingstone in Brent East at the 1992 general election, but lost by 5,971 votes. He was elected to the House of Commons for the Kent seat of Ashford at the 1997 general election following the retirement of Tory MP Keith Speed. Green held the seat with a majority of 5,345 and has remained the constituency's MP. He made his maiden speech on 20 May 1997.
Shadow Ministerial career
While a backbencher, he was a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee from 1997 until his appointment to the frontbench by William Hague in 1998 as a spokesman on education and employment. He spoke on the environment from 1999 and was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet by Iain Duncan Smith in 2001 as the Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills. In 2003, Michael Howard gave him the position of Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. In September 2004, he left the frontbench altogether of his own accord and joined the Home Affairs Select Committee, and was a member of the Treasury Committee after the 2005 general election.
Whilst sitting as an MP he was a non-executive director of Mid Kent Water from 2005 to 2007, and of the successor company South East Water until 2010. Between July 2009 and February 2010, Green was paid £16,666.64 for 112 hours by South East Water for "attending meetings and offering advice" according to the House of Commons Record of Members Interests. He returned to the frontbench under the leadership of David Cameron in 2005 as a spokesman on home affairs and shadow minister for immigration.
Green is Chairman of Parliamentary Mainstream, a vice-president of the Tory Reform Group and is a vice-chairman of the John Smith Memorial Trust.
As Police Minister in the Coalition Government, Green called for increased partnerships between the police and the private sector. His sacking in the 2014 cabinet reshuffle was met with some surprise as he was considered to be highly regarded by colleagues.
Theresa May ministry
He was appointed as First Secretary of State on 11 June 2017, as part of the cabinet reshuffle following the 2017 general election, effectively making him May's deputy. He was also promoted to Minister for the Cabinet Office.
Green was arrested by the Metropolitan Police at his constituency home on 27 November 2008 on suspicion of "aiding and abetting misconduct in public office" and "conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office". The documents were reported to include information politically embarrassing to the then-Labour Government. He was later released on bail. In a statement to Parliament on 3 December, Michael Martin, Speaker of the House of Commons, responsible for the security of the Palace of Westminster, stated that although the police undertaking the search had neither presented a search warrant nor given "the requisite advice that such a warrant was necessary", the search of the Parliamentary office had been undertaken with the express written consent of the Serjeant-at-Arms, who had signed a consent form without consulting the Clerk of the House.
The arrest led to speculation about the apparent coincidence that it was authorised on the last day in office of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. It was criticised by political figures and journalists. It was reported in The Andrew Marr Show that he believed he was the subject of a bugging operation, which would have required the authorisation of the Home Secretary. Jacqui Smith stated that she had not granted any such order. Green's constituency agent subsequently confirmed that a search of Green's property and car had been commissioned, but that no listening devices were discovered.
A junior Home Office civil servant, Christopher Galley, subsequently admitted leaking four "embarrassing" documents to Green and was sacked. On 16 April 2009, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it was not going to bring a case against either Green or Galley as there was "insufficient evidence".
During the UK parliamentary expenses scandal The Daily Telegraph newspaper revealed that, although Green's constituency is a mere 45-minute commute from Westminster, he claimed expenses for a designated second home in Acton, west London. Green has regularly claimed expenses up to the maximum of £400 for food. He has also claimed for the interest on his mortgage, for his council tax, and for his phone bills.
Sexual harassment and pornography allegations
During the 2017 Westminster sexual scandals revelations, a Cabinet Office inquiry was started into allegations Green sent suggestive text messages and "fleetingly" touched the knee of a young Conservative activist. He disputes this, stating it's "absolutely and completely untrue that I’ve ever made any sexual advances on Ms [Kate] Maltby". Both Baroness Kennedy and journalist Rosamund Urwin stated that Maltby had made the claims to them over a year before making them public. Urwin published Facebook messages and time stamps, showing that Maltby had complained to her, and detailed her earlier experience with Green, within four minutes of receiving what she reported as an “inappropriate” text message from Green in 2016. The Guido Fawkes website also published anonymous allegations from two other women who refused to speak on the record but who described experiences similar to that alleged by Maltby.
During this investigation, allegations emerged that pornography had been found on Green's work computer when he was arrested over leaks in 2008. He said this was a "political smear". The police detective computer forensics expert who examined the computer when Green was arrested rebutted this in early December 2017, stating: "The computer was in Mr Green’s office, on his desk, logged in, his account, his name ... it was ridiculous to suggest anybody else could have done it". In December 2017 the police expert was being investigated by Scotland Yard for keeping copies of confidential material, unrelated to the case he was working on, and then releasing it to the public. Green denied that he downloaded or looked at such images. Green said that the claims made by the retired Bob Quick were "political smears". Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson confirmed that he was informed about the matter at the time but regarded it as a "side issue".
On 20 December 2017, Green was removed from his position; it was found that he had lied to colleagues over pornography found on his computer. The report concluded that Green's conduct as a Minister had "generally been both professional and proper", but that regarding the allegations by Maltby, although the private nature of their meetings meant that it was "not possible to reach a definitive conclusion" regarding his behaviour towards her, the report found her account to be "plausible". In his resignation letter, Green said that he deeply regretted the distress to Maltby that the reaction to her article about him had caused, and although maintaining that he did not recognise the events described in it, he "clearly made her feel uncomfortable" and apologised for doing so. Theresa May had asked him to resign and accepted his resignation. She stated she had "greatly appreciated" his hard work and contribution to her team and that it was "right" that he had apologised to Maltby.
A few days later, Green faced calls to stand down as an MP, following the disclosure of a "dirty tricks" campaign which appeared to target his accuser. It emerged that text messages passed to the Mail on Sunday, allegedly sent between Maltby and Green before she made her complaint, had been edited and rewritten in order to inaccurately suggest that Maltby, rather than Green, had encouraged a continued close relationship and solicited a meeting between the two. After contacting Maltby prior to publication, the Mail on Sunday corrected one series of messages and the newspaper later issued a further post-publication correction acknowledging that it had published a second forged message and falsely attributed it to her. The faked message and subsequent article falsely accused of her of having flirtatiously texted Green that she regretted his absence from his party, because in his stead one of his aides had "been smooching the room on your behalf x".
The Conservative MP Anna Soubry, previously an ally of Green, and like him a Remain voter, told the Sunday Times that attempts to smear Maltby were "wrong and shameful". Another Conservative MP said: "It appears that Green's allies barely paused for breath after he apologised for the distress caused to Kate Maltby before launching an attack. It smacks of a dirty tricks campaign and is unhelpful to the government when it is still dealing with the fallout of the Westminster harassment scandal." Maltby and her supporters had accused Green of also being behind a negative, anonymously-briefed attack on her written by the Daily Mail journalist Andrew Pierce. Her parents, in a statement, responded angrily to claims made by Pierce that they disapproved of her actions and condemned "the attempted campaign in certain sections of the media to denigrate and intimidate her and other witnesses".
Writing in the Sunday Times, Maltby alleged that the Daily Mail attack had been coordinated by Green's team and formed part of a broader strategy of witness intimidation. Maltby alleged that two other women had intended to make allegations against Green, but "as a result" of the Daily Mail' coverage of her own complaint, "immediately backed out". In May 2018, the Daily Mail paid £11,000 towards Malby's legal costs after she prepared to go to court regarding Pierce's article. The article was removed from the Mail's website without an admission of fault.
Green is an advocate of allowing illegal immigrants to return to the UK sooner. He has supported voluntary return for overstayers and other migrants in order to avoid deportation, claiming "we expect those with no right to be in the country to leave voluntarily". In 2011, in his role as Immigration Minister, he relaxed a 5-year re-entry ban to two years. He has stated that the illegal immigrants being in the UK for a "shorter period of time" was a positive and "saves money".
Green was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 EU membership referendum.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Damian Green.|
- Damian Green MP official constituency website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment
| Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills
| Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment and Transport
as Minister of State for Borders and Immigration
| Minister of State for Immigration
| Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice
| Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Title last held byGeorge Osborne
| First Secretary of State
Title next held byDominic Raab
| Minister for the Cabinet Office