Kate Maltby: Downing Street knew about 'pattern of inappropriate behaviour' by Damian Green
Downing Street knew in 2016 about “a pattern of behaviour” by sacked Damian Green, the woman at the centre of the sex claims against him has said.
Journalist and historian Kate Maltby said she told a “long-serving aide of Theresa May” about her allegations and added: “I was aware that No 10 knew about it.”
But Downing Street has denied Mrs May knew anything about the claims her close ally had behaved inappropriately towards Ms Maltby.
Mr Green was sacked from his job as First Secretary of State on Wednesday after a Cabinet Office probe found he lied about porn found by police on his work computer in 2008.
The probe was initially set up to look into claims by Ms Maltby that he “fleetingly” touched her knee in 2015 and sent her inappropriate text messages the following year.
It failed to draw a conclusion about the allegations but it did say Ms Maltby’s account was “plausible”.
But in a new development, she told the BBC she took her complaints directly to Downing Street when Mr Green was Work and Pensions Secretary in 2016.
"Eventually I spoke to a very senior and long serving aide of Theresa May," she explained. "I was aware that he was the deputy prime minister and I was aware that No 10 knew about it."
She said she told senior civil servant Sue Gray - who led the Cabinet Office probe into Mr Green - that Downing Street knew of her claims "to the best of my knowledge".
And she told the Daily Telegraph: “I would never, never have told my story about Damian Green if I did not believe I was exposing a pattern of behaviour of which I thought the Prime Minister was personally aware.”
STORY ABOUT POWER
Ms Maltby told the BBC the “whole story has been about power,” adding: “Damian Green became a very very powerful person.
"I was aware that there seemed to be improper mixing of mentorship and sexual advance within the Conservative party in his case."
And she went on: "My actions in this have never been guided by the quest to claim scalps, to force resignations to end people's careers.
"We need an end to the era in which the sexual exploitation of younger people is the sort of peccadillo of a politician.
"That is tolerated by those in power and perhaps exploited to enforce party discipline but not to actually do any good."
A Downing Street source told the BBC the Prime Minister was unaware of the allegations and highlighted Mrs May's record on tackling sexual harassment.
They added: "The Cabinet Office conducted a thorough investigation into a number of allegations about Damian Green.
"The PM has made it clear that everyone should be able to work in politics without fear or harassment.
“That is why she has brought forward a new Code of Conduct for the Conservative Party, and set up a cross-party working group to make recommendations about the Houses of Parliament."
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the actions of the two ex-police officers who went public about the porn on Mr Green’s computer were to be questioned.
He said they "had the slight feeling of a vendetta" and called for further investigation.
The Met Police are investigating the pair for possible breaches of the Data Protection Act and have referred the case to the Information Commissioner.