May Launches Investigation into Conservative Minister Sex Toy Misconduct Allegations

Garnier
Wikimedia Commons

Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has launched an investigation into allegations of a sex abuse of power by a government minister, just days after a Labour member of parliament was suspended from his own party for offensive remarks.

The Cabinet Office is investigating the actions and remarks of International Trade Minister Mark Garnier at the request of the Prime Minister, said a government spokesman Sunday morning, after revelations about his conduct towards a member of staff were revealed in a Sunday Newspaper.

Speaking for the government, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said on the Andrew Marr show Sunday morning that “The stories, if they are true, are obviously totally unacceptable and the Cabinet Office will be conducting an investigation into whether there’s been a breach of the ministerial code in this particular case.”

According to claims printed in the Mail on Sunday, Garnier called his secretary “sugar tits” and asked her to buy him two vibrators in a Soho sex shop — one for his wife and one for another woman in his constituency — while he waited outside.

Garnier admits to having called the woman “sugar tits” but insists it took place in 2010 and was a cultural reference to the then-popular television comedy Gavin and Stacey, and insisted that “it absolutely does not constitute harassment”, reports The Guardian.

The Prime Minister is now understood to be in talks with the speaker of the House John Bercow, who was himself the subject of a sleaze scandal in 2009 after a guide on how to have sex with virgins he wrote as a young Tory councillor in the 1980s resurfaced, on how to change the culture of parliament to make sex abuse less acceptable. A party spokesman Sunday morning said a contractually binding grievance procedure for all MPs and their staff was on the horizon.

Britain’s parliament is being touched by the growing scandal of sexual abuse of power, which started in Hollywood over allegations of widespread sexual abuse by top producer Harvey Weinstein, and which has since spread worldwide and to a number of industries and sectors.

Labour MP Jared O’Mara was suspended from his party this week after a string of allegations for hateful behaviour towards women, including one case where he allegedly called one of his own constituents an “ugly bitch”, and another where he called teenage fans of pop music “sexy little slags”. In Brussels, it has been revealed the European Commission has been the scene of hundreds of sexual harassment complaints — including female journalists being harassed by Commission members.

In Sweden, the scandal has hit the mainstream media, where a senior manager at the public broadcaster is being similarly investigated for sexual misconduct.

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