Tory minister Mark Garnier apologises to constituents over sex toy scandal

Posted On: 
8th November 2017

A government minister who made his female personal assistant buy sex toys has apologised to his constituents over the incident. 

International Trade Minister Mark Garnier is the subject of a Cabinet Office probe
Credit: 
PA

Mark Garnier said the circumstances had been taken out of context, and insisted he was friends with the woman at the time.

His former PA, Caroline Edmondson, revealed the episode in the Mail on Sunday.  

Downing Street refuses to say Theresa May has confidence in sex toy row minister Mark Garnier

Brexit minister Mark Garnier 'made his female PA buy sex toys'

She told the newspaper: "He suggested to me in a Commons bar one evening that we went shopping for sex toys in Soho. The next day, he said, 'Come on, let’s do it'.

"He took me to Soho and gave me the money to buy two vibrators. He stood outside the shop while I did. He said one was for his wife and the other was for a woman who worked in his constituency office.

"Another time in the bar he said to me in the hearing of others, 'You are going nowhere, sugar t**s'.

At the time Mr Garnier said he would not deny the allegations "because I’m not going to be dishonest". 

Speaking for the first time since the report appeared, the Wyre Forest MP told his local newspaper: "The events of 2010 concerning myself and a former member of staff have been reported outside the context and circumstances in which they occurred.

"At the time we were friends, and I want to be clear that I did not force or pressure her into doing anything. It is right that the public expect high standards of behaviour from their elected representatives, and I apologise to my constituents that this situation has occurred."

Theresa May has ordered a Cabinet Office investigation into whether the incident breached the ministerial code.