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UK minister probed over aide's sex toy errand

UK minister probed over aide's sex toy errand
By Natalie Huet with REUTERS
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Mark Garnier, a junior international trade minister, also confirmed calling his assistant "sugar tits" - but he told the Mail on Sunday it did not amount to harassment.


Britain’s Cabinet Office is to open an inquiry after a government minister admitted asking his former assistant to buy sex toys on his behalf.

Mark Garnier, a 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.

Garnier told the newspaper that the comment was part of a conversation about a television show, and that asking her to buy the toys was “good humoured high jinks”.

The report comes after May’s spokeswoman said on Friday any unwanted sexual behaviour was “completely unacceptable” and any minister who acted inappropriately would face “serious action”.

“Degrading culture”

Health Minister Jeremy Hunt said on Sunday May had asked the Cabinet Office to investigate whether Garnier had broken the government ministers’ code of behaviour.

“The stories, if they are true, are obviously totally unacceptable,” Hunt told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show.

Hunt also said Prime Minister Theresa May was writing to the speaker of the House of Commons to discuss how to stamp out sexism and abuse there.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned on Saturday (Oct. 28) that a “warped and degrading” culture of sexual harassment was thriving in the UK parliament, and said any MPs who have engaged in inappropriate behaviour must be held accountable.

Allegations have been swirling around Westminster ever since Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein scandal prompted women across other sectors to speak out.

Meanwhile across France, women held a national rally to protest against sexual harassment, following the #metoo campaign’s viral success in the wake of the Weinstein case.

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