Minister made secretary buy sex toys
British Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered an investigation into a report that one of her ministers asked a female secretary to buy sex toys for him.
Mark Garnier, a 53-year-old junior international trade minister, asked secretary Caroline Edmondson to buy two sex toys and he also called her “sugar tits”, the Mail on Sunday reported.
Mr Garnier, a father of three, admits he made the comment but said it was part of an amusing conversation about television show Gavin and Stacey, and that asking her to buy the toys was “good-humoured high jinks”.Russia ready to hold US talks on arms pact
Ms Edmondson, in comments to the paper, disputed Mr Garnier’s recollection of the 2010 incidents, including his assertion that they were “high jinks”.
The bombshell report comes after Ms May’s spokeswoman said on Friday any unwanted sexual behaviour was “completely unacceptable” and any minister who acted inappropriately would face “serious action”.
She was reacting to a report in another British newspaper that described a culture of sexual harassment among MPs and their staff working in parliament.Trump’s Twitter fail caps strange day
Health Minister Jeremy Hunt said on Sunday that Ms May had asked officials to investigate if Mr Garnier had broken the government ministers’ code of behaviour.
“These stories, if they are true, are obviously totally unacceptable,” Mr Hunt told BBC television.
“The Cabinet Office will be conducting an investigation as to whether there has been a breach of the ministerial code in this particular case, but as you know the facts are disputed.”Democratic women seek Trump probe
Mr Hunt added: “There are mums and dads who have daughters who are politics students hoping to get a job in Westminster and they must be able to be confident that if they get that job, their daughter will not be subject to some of these behaviours that we have been seeing.”
Ms May will also write to John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, to ask for his advice about changing the culture there, Mr Hunt said.
Reports of inappropriate behaviour in British politics, and in other industries, have followed dozens of allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.Human rights lawyer detained in Beijing
This week it emerged that a secret WhatsApp group belonging to women working in Westminster is used to warn each other about MPs with a reputation for sexually inappropriately behaviour.
Members of the group include parliamentary researchers, secretaries and aides who claim that politicians on both sides of the house have had sex in their offices.
The messaging group also claims MPs have indecently pestered members of staff and subjected female workers to sexist nicknames.Japan to help Manila to stop pirates
On Saturday, former Cabinet Minister Stephen Crabb admitted sending “explicit” messages to a 19-year-old woman who he had interviewed for a job.
Last year, devout Christian Crabb was caught sexting another woman half his age.
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Environment, has apologised after making a joke about Harvey Weinstein before appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today program.Ex-Trump adviser guilty of lying to FBI
In the latest scandal, former banker Mr Garnier, who is deputy to International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, said he purchased vibrators with Ms Edmondson at a Soho sex shop as part of “good humoured high jinks”.
He told the Mail that he had fallen out with Ms Edmondson, who now works for former Cabinet Minister John Whittingdale, and she has “been using [the incident] against me ever since.”
Mr Garnier said in the current Weinstein-climate, this could “look like dinosaur behaviour” but said “in the context of the time, we got on fine.”S Korea's Moon named 'global rethinker'
The wealthy Brexiteer “vehemently denies sexual harassment”, reports the Mail.
But Ms Edmondson has called Mr Garnier a “s**t” claiming he “lied” saying he suggested they buy the vibrators while drinking in the Commons bar.
She said: “The next day, he said, ‘Come on, let’s do it.’ He took me to Soho and gave me the money to buy two vibrators. He stood outside the shop while I did. He said one was for his wife and the other was for a woman who worked in his constituency office.”Sixth anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death
The Commons Secretary claims that her former boss said “you are going nowhere, sugar t*ts” when learning she was thinking of working for another MP.
She described the incident, which she says was witnessed by others, as “awful.”