Tory minister faces Cabinet Office probe over claim he made his PA buy sex toys

Posted On: 
29th October 2017

Trade minister Mark Garnier is also facing a Cabinet Office investigation over a report that he asked his PA to buy him sex toys.

Trade minister Mark Garnier pictured at an event in Liverpool earlier this year
Credit: 
PA

It comes after a series of allegations emerged in the Sunday papers, with one story revealing the Prime Minister gets regular updates on the indiscretions of Conservative MPs, including senior ministers.

Mr Garnier is also alleged to have embarrassed Caroline Edmondson by calling her "sugar t**s" in front of other people.

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He told the Mail on Sunday he would not deny the allegations "because I’m not going to be dishonest".

'TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt revealed this morning that his colleague would be the subject of an inquiry.

"I mean these stories if they're true are obviously totally unacceptable and the Cabinet Office will be conducting an investigation as to whether there's been a breach of the ministerial code in this particular case, as you know the facts are disputed." he told the Andrew Marr Show.

"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've been seeing."

He revealed that Theresa May would be seeking advice from John Bercow on how to deal with inappropriate behaviour in Parliament.

"This is something that covers behaviour by MPs of all parties and that's why the other thing that's going to happen is that today Theresa May Is going to write to John Bercow the speaker of the House of Commons, to ask him for his advice as to how we change that culture. 

"I think things have got better in recent years, but there's still a long way to go."

The latest development comes after the Sunday Times reported that Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson informs the Prime Minister about the intelligence his office has gathered on the behaviour of colleagues.

According to the paper, one Downing Street aide refers to the get-together as the "ins and outs chat".

CRABB TEXTS

Meanwhile, former Cabinet minister Stephen Crabb has admitted sending inappropriate text messages to a 19-year-old woman who tried to get a job with him.

It happened before a separate incident involving messages of a sexual nature sent to a different young woman during the EU referendum campaign, which led to his resignation from the Cabinet.

Mr Crabb said: "We exchanged messages which talked about sex but none of it was meant seriously.

"We met for coffee a few times and had a glass of wine once at the Commons, but nothing more. I accept any kind of sexual chatter like this is totally wrong and I am sorry for my actions."