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Scandal surrounding UK govt officials spreads

Published: November 05, 2017 21:26:48 | Updated: November 08, 2017 11:45:53


Britain’s First Secretary of State Damian Green

The scandal surrounding Britain’s government officials deepened Sunday with more allegations of sexual harassment involving UK Prime Minister Theresa May's most senior minister.

A Sunday Times report said police had found “extreme” pornography on computer of First Secretary of State Damian Green during an investigation nine years ago.

However the senior Cabinet figure, who is in effect May’s deputy, denied the allegation.

He called the Sunday Times story “completely untrue” and said it came from an untrustworthy, tainted police source.

Green said, “The allegations about the material and computer, now nine years old, are false, disreputable political smears from a discredited police officer acting in flagrant breach of his duty to keep the details of police investigations confidential, and amount to little more than an unscrupulous character assassination.”

Several global media said that Green already was being investigated for alleged inappropriate advances on a Conservative Party activist.

The allegations swirling through the British government in the wake of Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal go far beyond Green and former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.

Michael Fallon stepped down last week after reports of inappropriate behaviour by him surfaced.

A rising number of legislators from the Conservative and Labour parties face similar allegations, and politicians in Scotland and Wales have been caught up as well.

The Welsh government’s Cabinet secretary for communities and children, Carl Sargeant, said he resigned Friday after allegations of his misconduct were made. The government’s leader said Sargeant had been removed from his post pending an investigation. Sargeant has asked for an independent inquiry to clear his name.

In Scotland, Mark McDonald, a minister for childcare from the Scottish National Party, resigned over past actions. He apologised and said behaviour he had thought might be “humourous” or “friendly” had made people uncomfortable.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Britain is having a “watershed” moment. She said the wave of accusations would bring about a “clear out” in government that will leave its institutions in better shape.

Rudd said that electing more female legislators would help change the male-dominated culture in Parliament.

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