Damian Green jokes fail to impress in surprise appearance at DUP bash
Scandal-hit senior Tory Damian Green addressed a dinner of DUP top brass last night on the eve of the Northern Irish party’s annual conference.
The de-facto deputy prime minister turned up at the bash at the plush La Mon hotel and country club near Belfast after undertaking visits elsewhere in the region.
He talked about Brexit and the confidence and supply deal between the DUP and the Conservatives, which he said was working well, according to sources in the room.
In recent weeks, Mr Green has faced accusations of making inappropriate sexual advances towards a female journalist thirty years his younger.
Police have also said they found "extreme" pornography on a work computer of his during a probe into Home Office leaks in 2008. Mr Green denies both allegations.
A Cabinet Office investigation into whether he broke the ministerial code is still ongoing.
Despite his personal problems, Mr Green was invited to speak at the DUP event after they agreed a £1.5bn deal to prop up Theresa May's minority government.
The Belfast Telegraph revealed yesterday that he was due to attend to coincide with other engagements in Northern Ireland.
A senior DUP source said the First Secretary of State made a joke or two at the start of his address but the humour was not his strongest suit.
On the substance of the speech, the source added: “He said all the right things.”
Others who were in the room agreed that the gags were not particularly memorable.
The DUP conference kicks off in full tomorrow with speeches by top figures including leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds.