London: Leading UK businessmen today faced allegations of “groping” women at a high-profile charity fundraiser in London.
Reporters from ‘Financial Times’ said they witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards women hostesses hired for the all-male charity dinner organised by the Presidents’ Club in London’s posh Dorchester Hotel last Thursday. “Groping and similar abuse was seen across many of the tables in the room. Hostesses reported men repeatedly putting hands up their skirts; one said an attendee had exposed his penis to her during the evening,” the newspaper said in its report.
The expose rocked the corridors of power, with UK education minister Anne Milton addressing the issue in the House of Commons on Wednesday. She confirmed that David Meller, one of the guests at the event, had resigned from his non-executive role in the Department for Education. Downing Street said British PM Theresa May was “uncomfortable” at reports about the dinner.
The only women at the event, attended by senior figures in business and finance from some of Britain’s leading companies, were hired hostesses. Madison Marriage, the reporter who worked undercover at the event, said she was groped “several times”. She revealed that the 130 hostesses on duty were told to wear skimpy black outfits with matching underwear and high heels and were also asked to sign a five-page non-disclosure agreement about the event upon arrival to the hotel.
The annual dinner with a 30-year-long history has helped raised 20 million pounds for children’s charities in UK. Many of the charities expressed concerns following the reports, with some considering returning the donations.