What can you add to that headline? Except – can you imagine what May and her MPs would say if this was a politician from another party?
If it were an ordinary person working in the private sector caught with porn on their computer, they would be immediately dismissed for gross misconduct without any notice period.
If they claimed that it was a subordinate who they had given their login details to, then rather than this being treated as an excuse it would mean they would be sacked a second time for sharing login credentials.
If they claimed in public (in say an employment tribunal) that there wasn’t porn on the computer as a justification for them keeping their job, but the evidence and witnesses proved otherwise, that would not have helped their case or allowed them to keep their job in the interim.
Under no circumstances can I imagine them getting a £17k payoff for having downloaded porn or given away their login credentials or lying about it all. And I passionately object to Theresa May giving someone who has done all this £17k of OUR money as a pay off.
If a member of the IT department had discovered the porn on the computer and reported it to management, but management had done nothing, and then the IT person went public because it was a matter of public interest, they would be protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013. But when it is a Government Minister and an ex-policeman, then it the whistle-blower who is vilified and the politician / government who act all offended because “their privacy has been breached” (not, of course, because they have been caught doing something or several things wrong). IMO MPs and especially government ministers should have zero expectation for privacy in their working lives – transparency of politicians in their working lives is essential for a working democracy, and the current lack of transparency and accountability is highly damaging.
As usual it’s one set of standards for the Tory government and its friends, and another for the rest of us.