Government minister faces investigation over sex toys errand

UK international trade minister Mark Garnier is to face an investigation into whether he broke ministerial rules after asking his secretary to buy sex toys. The allegations are reported to have taken place before he was a trade minister.


Source: BBC

Mr Garnier’s former secretary, Caroline Edmondson, told the Mail on Sunday he had given her money to buy two vibrators at a Soho sex shop.

Ms Edmondson, who has since left to work for another MP, was quoted as saying that on another occasion in a bar, in front of witnesses, he told her: “You are going nowhere, sugar tits.”

The Mail reported that Mr Garnier had admitted the claims, saying: “I’m not going to deny it, because I’m not going to be dishonest. I’m going to have to take it on the chin.”

Mr Garnier conceded that his actions could look like “dinosaur behaviour” in the current climate, but added: “It absolutely does not constitute harassment.”

The incidents date back to 2010 – before Mr Garnier was a government minister.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said recent newspaper reports about inappropriate behaviour by MPs and ministers were “totally unacceptable if true”.

Asked about the working culture at Westminster, he said: “Things have got better in recent years but there is still some way to go.

“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.”

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