Theresa May is facing renewed calls to sack Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi over his attendance at an elite men-only dinner where guests harassed and groped female staff.
The charity dinner, organised by Conservative donor David Meller, sparked outrage after an undercover Financial Times investigation found widespread sexual harassment perpetrated by guests against “hostesses,” who were ordered to dress in revealing outfits and plied with free champagne.
Jeremy Corbyn raised the pressure on the Prime Minister by forcing the resignation of Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn for his attendance at the Presidents Club event.
A spokesperson for the Labour leader said yesterday: “It’s right that Lord Mendelsohn has stepped down. The reports about this appalling event were deeply shocking and there can be no excuse for anyone’s attendance.”
Mr Corbyn himself said that Lord Mendelsohn had not attended an after-party and did not witness any of the “appalling incidents” described in the explosive Financial Times report.
Following news that Mr Zahawi had been rebuked by No 10, Tory women and equalities select committee chair Maria Miller added: “No government minister should be going to an event where women are only there as the entertainment. That’s not acceptable. There are questions about why Nadhim had accepted this invitation.”
The PM has condemned the dinner but continued to avoid questions about the implications of her children and families minister attending such an event.
The event has also sparked concerns at the treatment of women across the hospitality industry, with workers and their union reps saying that harassment is “rife.”
A 2016 TUC report into sexual harassment found that 67 per cent of female hospitality and leisure staff reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment — 15 per cent above the national average.
Mr Zadhawi maintains that he left the event early. He has condemned the incidents described in reports.
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