A former senior police officer, who accused Damian Green of possessing a huge amount of porn on his computer, is threatening legal action against him unless the MP retracts claims he is lying.
The first secretary of state called ex-Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Bob Quick a “liar” after the officer claimed Green’s parliamentary computer was found to have “vast amounts” of porn on it after his office was searched in 2008.
The claim has triggered a huge row about police conduct. Former attorney general Dominic Grieve said the leaks had “the smack of the police state” and former Greater Manchester Police chief Sir Peter Fahy has said the officers coming forward are in “dangerous territory”.
On Tuesday, Quick said what he said was “accurate, in good faith, and in the firm belief that I have acted in the public interest”.
In a statement issued through his solicitors, he added: “Damian Green called me a liar in the statement he tweeted on 4 November 2017. That is completely untrue...
“During an investigation of his parliamentary office in 2008, it was reported to me and to other senior officers that a vast amount of pornography was discovered on the computer in Damian Green’s Parliamentary office, on his account.
“I was told that internet history data logs indicated that the material had been viewed prolifically and in working hours.
“I recommended that the issue be referred to the parliamentary commissioner for standards. As far as I know, no such reference was made.”
Quick approached civil servant Sue Gray, who is conducting a Cabinet Office investigation into Green over a separate claim of sexual harassment, with his claims in early November.
In Quick’s latest statement, he denies supplying The Sunday Times with a statement he sought to give the Leveson Inquiry about Green’s computer.
In that draft statement for the inquiry, which took place in 2011 and 2012, Quick said the material on Green’s computer was “extreme” but not criminal.
The Sunday Times reported this in early November. In response, Green called Quick “tainted”, “discredited” and “untrustworthy”.
Quick said Neil Lewis, another former officer who has come forward to support him, did so after Green’s “deeply unpleasant and personal attack”.
Lewis told the BBC he was “shocked” at the volume of pornographic material found on Green’s computer and had “no doubt whatsoever” that it had been amassed by the Tory MP.
Quick added: “I wish to make it clear for the avoidance of any doubt or further speculation that I am in no way motivated politically and bear no malice whatsoever to Damian Green.
“This is despite unfortunate and deeply hurtful attempts to discredit me. Everything I have said about this matter has been in good faith, and in the firm belief that I have acted in the public interest.
“I invite Damian Green publicly to retract his allegations against me. I am considering legal action.”
On Monday, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said ex-officers who spoke publicly about Green’s computers were wrong to do so and hinted prosecutions could follow.
She told LBC: “Police officers have a duty of confidentiality. We come into contact with personal information very regularly, sometimes extremely sensitive...
“If offences have been disclosed and that can be proved, it would be a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service, but there could be a prosecution.”