The former Metropolitan police assistant commissioner at the heart of the allegations against Damian Green has said he is considering legal action over "deeply hurtful" claims he lied.
In a statement issued by his solicitors, Bob Quick said he was seeking a retraction from Green, the deputy first minister and Theresa May’s deputy in all but name. Quick oversaw the raid on Green's office in 2008, during which pornographic material was found on a computer.
Green has consistently denied the claims, tweeting a statement in November saying the story "is completely untrue and comes from a tainted and untrustworthy source".
Yesterday Cressida Dick said Quick and his colleague Neil Lewis were wrong to make the allegations public.
But today Quick said everything he had said about the case was “accurate, in good faith, and in the firm belief that I have acted in the public interest”.
He added:“During an investigation of his parliamentary office in 2008, it was reported to me and to other senior officers that a vast amount of pornography was discovered on the computer in Damian Green’s Parliamentary office, on his account. I was told that internet history data logs indicated that the material had been viewed prolifically and in working hours.
“I recommended that the issue be referred to the parliamentary commissioner for standards. As far as I know, no such reference was made.
“In view of this and the present Cabinet Office investigation into Damian Green, I contacted [Cabinet Office's ethics and propriety director general] Sue Gray in early November 2017. Shortly afterwards, a journalist from the Sunday Times contacted me to say that he had obtained a draft statement prepared by me some years ago for the Leveson Inquiry. I did not approach the Sunday Times with this information.
“Following Mr Green’s deeply unpleasant and personal attack upon me, I was contacted by Neil Lewis, who had undertaken the interrogation of Mr Green’s hard drive in 2008. Mr Lewis offered me his support, and I believe him to be a man of integrity, similarly acting in the public interest. I reported Mr Lewis’ contact and the evidence he was able to provide to Sue Gray on 6 November 2017.
“I wish to make it clear for the avoidance of any doubt or further speculation that I am in no way motivated politically and bear no malice whatsoever to Damian Green. This is despite unfortunate and deeply hurtful attempts to discredit me. Everything I have said about this matter has been in good faith, and in the firm belief that I have acted in the public interest.
“I invite Damian Green publicly to retract his allegations against me. I am considering legal action.”
The Cabinet Office review into the matter is expected to conclude shortly.