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London Falling

Britain's Theresa May ousts top aide Damian Green over lying about porn on his work computer

On Wednesday night, British Prime Minister Theresa May sacked her most senior and trusted aide, Damian Green, after a government report concluded that he had violated the ministerial code by making "inaccurate and misleading" statements in November about pornography found on his parliamentary computer in 2008. The report also found an account of sexual misconduct against Green plausible though not conclusive. "I am extremely sad to be writing this," May wrote in a letter to Green. "We have been friends and colleagues throughout our whole political lives."

"I regret that I've been asked to resign from the government following breaches of the ministerial code, for which I apologize," Green, 61, said in a letter to May, adding that he should have acknowledged he knew that police found pornography on his government computer but denying that he had downloaded or viewed any porn.

Green's downfall began when Kate Maltby, a 31-year-old journalist and Tory activist whose parents were family friends, said that over drinks in 2015, Green discussed political sex scandals then "mentioned that his own wife was very understanding. I felt a fleeting hand against my knee — so brief, it was almost deniable." Green said Wednesday that he did not remember his drinks with Maltby that way, but he "clearly made her feel uncomfortable and for this I apologize."

May had brought Green into her Cabinet six months ago to shore up her government after losing her parliamentary majority in ill-advised snap elections. He is the third and most senior Cabinet minister to step down since the beginning of November, after Defense Minister Michael Fallon and International Development Secretary Priti Patel. There are no plans to replace Green, whose formal title was first secretary of state but job was adviser and political fixer.