Tory MPs divided over Damian Green as he denies allegations
Anna Soubry and Nadine Dorries expressed contrasting views on the behaviour of Theresa May's deputy.
As the Westminster sex scandal deepens, the first secretary is now being investigated by the Cabinet Office over claims that he made inappropriate advances to a younger Conservative female activist.
As he was doorstepped by reporters this morning, Damian Green insisted: “All the allegations are completely false.”
But while Theresa May's deputy denies wrongdoing, not all of his colleagues are standing shoulder to shoulder with him just yet.
"I think it’s really serious. God knows what his wife must feel," said Anna Soubry in a frank interview on Sky News. "I think it’s very serious. This is somebody who was, I think, 30 years junior. For goodness sake..."
She added that in "normal circumstances" someone facing allegations like those about Green would have been suspended.
Other colleagues, such as Nadine Dorries are not sure what all the fuss is about.
Dorries tweeted: "Confused about Damien [sic] Green story. Kate Maltby didn’t work for him Westminster or for the party. He asked her out. Have I got this right?"
But Dorries did acknowledge the sexual harassment problem in Westminster – and she proposed a radical solution that might not please the many staffers who enjoy an after-work pint with pals.
"There is a cultural problem in Westminster. It’s complex. MPs who work late sharing restaurants /bars with young researchers who don’t," she stated.
"Time for MPs staff to leave the premises at 6pm and for places like the sports and social club to be closed down.
"Westminster is a workplace. Staff remain on Westminster premises drinking whilst MPs voting. Why? Plenty of pubs around London. No other workplace provides bars."
Picture credit: Press Association.