Senior Brit MP accused of sexual harassment

  • 02/11/2017
Damian Green.
Damian Green. Photo credit: Getty

UK British Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered an investigation into claims one of her senior deputies made inappropriate advances to a Conservative activist.

Writer and academic Kate Maltby says cabinet minister Damian Green "fleetingly" touched her knee in 2015 and later sent her a "suggestive" text message after she was pictured wearing a corset in a newspaper.

Ms Maltby wrote in the Times of London newspaper that Mr Green "offered me career advice and in the same breath made it clear he was sexually interested".

"It was not acceptable to me at the time and it should not be acceptable behaviour in Westminster in the future," Ms Maltby wrote.

She wrote she had no contact with Mr Green for a year after the meeting in the pub because she "wanted nothing to do with him".

A year later, Ms Maltby wrote an article for the Times about the history of corsets, which was published with a picture of her wearing one.

After the article appeared, she received a text message from Mr Green that said: "Long time no see. But having admired you in a corset in my favourite tabloid I feel impelled to ask if you are free for a drink anytime?"

Mr Green, Britain's de facto Deputy Prime Minister, denied making sexual advances.

"This untrue allegation has come as a complete shock and is deeply hurtful, especially from someone I considered a personal friend," he said.

Ms May's office said the Prime Minister had asked the head of the civil service to "establish the facts and report back as soon as possible".

Meanwhile, a Labour activist said she was raped at a party conference in 2011, when she was 19.

Bex Bailey said a Labour official discouraged her from reporting the attack, saying "it might damage" her.

The party said it was investigating.

The allegations against British politicians have triggered soul-searching about how to stop abusive behaviour in politics.