Nothing to get excited about

Sir Paul Stephenson, Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Commissioner circa 2009 to 2011, has backed former Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick by confirming that he was briefed about claims that Theresa May’s second-in-command Damian Green had pornography on his office computer. He says that he regarded them as a “side issue”, which is not as rude as a “bottom line” (see last week).

Nov 15, 2017

Sir Paul Stephenson, Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Commissioner circa 2009 to 2011, has backed former Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick by confirming that he was briefed about claims that Theresa May’s second-in-command Damian Green had pornography on his office computer. He says that he regarded them as a “side issue”, which is not as rude as a “bottom line” (see last week). Both Sir Paul and Mr Quick have been giving evidence to a Cabinet Office inquiry into a claim that Mr Green made inappropriate advances towards a female Conservative activist in 2015, allegations he denies. Mr Green had initially responded to Mr Quick’s allegations by describing them as “completely untrue” and “false, disreputable smears”. He also described Mr Quick as “tainted, discredited and untrustworthy”. Now that Sir Paul has corroborated the claims he has responded by saying: “I can only assume that they are being made now, nine years later, for ulterior motives.” This is not the only assumption he could make. He could instead assume that the motives are revenge, which is pretty obvious. Mr Green has also moderated his denial, now saying that he wishes to “reiterate that no allegations about the presence of improper material on my parliamentary computers have ever been put to me or to the parliamentary authorities by the police”. Sir Paul and Mr Quick were removed from office after perhaps investigating allegations of what we might call political shenanigans a little too vigorously. Sir Paul has, however, managed to hang onto his knighthood, so far, and he has played down the pornography claims, saying: “I regret it’s in the public domain. There was no criminality involved, there were no victims, there was no vulnerability and it was not a matter of extraordinary public interest.” He surely could not have known The Times would run it on its front page. We are told that the Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey, who is also, like many politicians and celebrities, facing allegations of sexual misconduct, stands (or sits) accused of sitting on one of the Queen’s several thrones while being shown around Buckingham Palace by that well known tour guide Prince Andrew. A spokesperson has informed us that “Buckingham Palace is home to a number of members of the Royal Family who from time to time host guests in a private capacity. We are not going to comment on speculation”. This, however, is not speculation, it is an allegation of treason, clearly involving criminality, (Unlawful Sitting) a victim (Her Majesty the Queen) and vulnerability (the Throne) and public interest (us). The questions to be asked here are: ‘Can we extradite an American (Spacey); which MPS squad will we send to seize him (there are plenty to choose from); and where and when can we execute him? (ideally the Tower, on a bank holiday weekend). Prince Andrew claims he has no knowledge of the tour, which is reported to have taken place several years ago. Mr Green could learn a great deal from one with far more experience of accounting for historical allegations – losing one’s memory is far more dignified than back-sliding when one is under the spotlight. Yours, Stitch

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