The scandal surrounding Britain's political class has deepened with more allegations of sexual harassment, abuse of power and other misdeeds.
First Secretary of State Damian Green yesterday denied a newspaper claim that police had found "extreme" pornography on his computer nine years ago. Green called the Sunday Times report "completely untrue" and said it came from an untrustworthy tainted source.
"This story is completely untrue and comes from a tainted and untrustworthy source," Green said in a statement on his Twitter page. The claims amount to "little more than an unscrupulous character assassination," he said.
The Sunday Times reported on its front page that former Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Bob Quick alleged the material was discovered by officers during an inquiry into government leaks in 2008. Quick, who was involved in the leak investigation, told the newspaper that officers had reported finding the "extreme" pornography on a parliamentary computer from Green's office.
Green is in effect Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy and a senior Cabinet figure. He is already being investigated for alleged inappropriate advances to a Conservative Party activist. He has denied a previous allegation that he made an inappropriate sexual advance on a young woman. He said it was not true that he had touched the woman's knee and told her that his "wife was very understanding" during a meeting in a pub in which the pair discussed her career aspirations and gossiped about sexual affairs in parliament.
The claims against one of the prime minister's closest allies risks deepening a growing sexual harassment scandal that led Britain's defense minister Michael Fallon to resign last Wednesday. Fallon said his behavior has "fallen short" of the standards expected by the British military.
May's minority government is already struggling with divisions over Britain's departure from the European Union.
A rising number of legislators from the Conservative and Labor parties face similar allegations. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Britain is having a "watershed" moment. "It is something that will take place, in terms of clearing out Westminster of that sort of behavior, and Westminster, including the government, will be better off after it," she said.
Rudd said Britain needed to address allegations of sexual harassment in the corridors of power. She told Sky News that electing more female legislators would help change the male-dominated culture in Parliament.
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