Theresa May’s deputy was yesterday accused of making inappropriate advances towards a Tory activist three decades his junior.
Damian Green, the first secretary of state, was referred to the cabinet secretary by Downing Street after it was claimed he sent the woman a text message about how he had admired her in a corset.
Kate Maltby, a critic and academic involved in Conservative politics, revealed the message and described a meeting between them in a bar where they discussed sexual affairs within parliament.
The revelations came after Mr Green was named as being on the Westminster sexual harassment dossier over highly disputed historical claims he used an adultery website.
First secretary of state, Damian Green (left) has been accused of making advances towards Kate Maltby, 31 (right)
According to the latest allegations, Miss Maltby, 31, said he told her ‘his wife was very understanding’ and put a ‘fleeting hand against my knee – so brief, it was almost deniable’.
Writing in the Times, she said the encounter with Mr Green left her feeling ‘angry’.
Then following the publication of a photograph of her wearing a corset, Mr Green, who was not a minister at the time, text her.
The message read: ‘Long time no see. But having admired you in a corset in my favourite tabloid I feel impelled to ask if you are free for a drink anytime?’
Mr Green said last night: ‘It is absolutely and completely untrue that I’ve ever made any sexual advances on Ms Maltby.’
Miss Maltby (pictured) said Mr Green sent her a text after seeing a photo of her in a corset
He said they had known each other since 2014 and had had a drinks as friends twice a year.
He added: ‘The text I sent after she appeared in a newspaper article was sent in that spirit – as two friends agreeing to meet for a regular catch up – and nothing more.
‘This untrue allegation has come as a complete shock and is deeply hurtful, especially from someone I considered a personal friend.’
A Downing Street spokesperson said: ‘An allegation has been made in relation to the First Secretary of State, which he strongly denies.
‘The Prime Minister has referred the matter to the Cabinet Secretary to establish the facts and report back as soon as possible.’
The First Secretary of State strenuously denied accusations two years ago that he was a member of the Ashley Madison site after his private email address was found among millions leaked by hackers.
But a redacted version of the Westminster sex dossier, published yesterday, listed a Cabinet minister together with the words Ashley Madison.
A Downing Street spokesperson said the Prime Minister had referred the allegations to the Cabinet Secretary to ‘establish the facts and report back as soon as possible’
Shortly afterwards, Mr Green was named in reports as being the minister identified by the dossier.
Both he and Downing Street yesterday refused to discuss the contested claim.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman would not say whether she had confidence specifically in MrGreen, but said: ‘The Prime Minister has confidence in her government and her ministers in getting on with the job.’
The allegation first emerged in 2015 when MrGreen’s email address appeared on a hacked list of members of the dating site for married people wanting to cheat on their spouses.
The First Secretary of State strenuously denied accusations two years ago that he was a member of the Ashley Madison site
The email address was apparently used from a computer in Parliament in 2007 to register with the site.
Whoever enrolled with Ashley Madison typed in the maiden name of Mr Green’s mother for the security question.
According to the hacked information, the profile linked to his email address stated: ‘I’m looking for some NSA [no strings attached] fun with a woman who has an ache for good sex.’
At the time Mr Green, 61, who has been married since 1988 and has two children, categorically denied any involvement with the dating site, saying: ‘I have never registered for an account with Ashley Madison.’
And Ashley Madison admitted that it did not verify email addresses so it was possible to use the site with someone else’s address.