Downing Street has said it may not publish any report into allegations against the first secretary of state, Damian Green, who is currently under investigation by the Cabinet Office.
The inquiry by its head of propriety and ethics, Sue Gray, was launched in early November after journalists and the Conservative activist Kate Maltby wrote a piece claiming Green had touched her knee in 2015 and, one year later, sent her a suggestive message.
Green, who has been Theresa May’s de facto deputy since he was given the role this summer, said the claims were “untrue and deeply hurtful”.
After Maltby’s piece was published in the Times, it later emerged that pornography – allegedly of an “extreme” nature – had been found on Green’s parliamentary computer after a police raid in 2008.
The result of the inquiry was expected to be announced in the coming days, but Downing Street said the full report would not necessarily be put in the public domain.
At a Westminster briefing, a No 10 spokesman told reporters only that they would be “updated” once investigations were completed. The spokesman said the inquiry was continuing, as was a separate investigation into allegations made against the international trade minister Mark Garnier.
“We will wait for the investigation to be concluded,” the spokesman said when asked if the inquiry would be released soon. “Once that has happened, we will update you on the next steps.
“I’m not going to prejudge when it will be concluded. We want the correct process to be followed, that’s the important thing. It’s right that we don’t get involved in that.”
Asked if that meant the government was not committing to publishing the full inquiry, the spokesman said: “That’s what I’m saying. I think I’ve set our position out on this.”
The Labour MP John Mann, who has been one of the key politicians pushing for reforms in the House of Commons to prevent harassment, said it was important for the process to be credible. “There needs to be full transparency for people to have faith in the process,” he said.
This article was written by Jessica Elgot, for theguardian.com on Friday 24th November 2017 18.48 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010