MP Mark Garnier to be investigated by Cabinet Office over sexual harassment claims

Lynsey Barber
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UK General Election 2015 - Miscellaneous Week One
The Cabinet Office will look at claims made in a Sunday newspaper (Source: Getty)

An MP will be investigated after claims of sexual harassment were made against him in a Sunday paper.

The Cabinet Office will look into the claims against Mark Garnier, the parliamentary under secretary of state for international trade and MP for Wyre Forest, said health secretary Jeremy Hunt during an appearance on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

It will look at whether Garnier broke the ministerial code.

Read more: May calls claims of Westminster sexual harassment “deeply concerning”

And the Prime Minister Theresa May has asked the Speaker of the House of Commons to look into creating a grievance procedure for MPs and those working for them.

Commons secretary Caroline Edmondson told the Mail on Sunday that Garnier called her "sugar t**s" and sent her to buy sex toys from a shop in Soho when she was working for him.

Garnier said the comment was in reference to a "an amusing conversation" about TV series Gavin and Stacey while buying sex toys was "good-humoured high jinks". He said it did not constitute harassment.

It comes as another MP, former work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb who last year was in the running to become Conservative party leader, admitted sending explicit messages to a 19-year-old he had interviewed for a job. Crabb said there had been no sexual contact and that he had been foolish.

"We exchanged messages which talked about sex but none of it was meant seriously," he said.

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"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."

May called any reports of sexual harassment "deeply concerning" after reports that women working in Parliament had set up a WhatsApp group where warnings about men could be shared to warn others.

The latest storm in Westminster comes in light of multiple claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein which have spurred many women across more industries to speak out.

Environment secretary Michael Gove was yesterday forced to apologise over an innapropriate joke made in relation to Weinstein.

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