UK govt worker resigns after women 'assaulted' at charity gala

Women hired to entertain high profile businessmen and politicians at a men-only charity fundraising gala in London were groped, propositioned and sexually harassed at the event, according to the UK's Financial Times newspaper.

The report said hostesses hired for the gala in London were subjected to fondling, attempts to kiss them and lewd comments.

One of the organisers of the fundraiser has resigned as trustee of a children's charity in the wake of the allegations.

Businessman David Meller, Presidents Club trustee and co-chairman of the annual dinner at London's Dorchester Hotel, on Wednesday quit his role at the Mayor's Fund for London and at the Department for Education.

Furious women politicians in the UK parliament lined up to denounce the behaviour described in the article.

"It is quite extraordinary to me that in the 21st century allegations of this kind are still emerging," said Anne Milton, junior education minister, said.

"Words fail me."

She announced Meller was stepping down as a non-executive board member of the Department for Education board.

A Labour MP, Christian Matheson, said police should even consider investigating allegations of indecent exposure and sexual assault at the event at London's Dorchester Hotel.

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said she had been uncomfortable reading about the event, noting that as a woman she would not have been invited.

It was reported that about 130 women had been hired for the event and allegedly ordered to wear skimpy black outfits with matching underwear and high heels.

It also claimed they all had to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the event, though they were not given copies to keep.

One of the lots on offer at the auction was tea with the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, but the Bank said it had not approved the prize.

One attendee was Conservative member of parliament Nadhim Zahawi, a junior minister in the education department.

A government spokesman said Zahawi had "attended briefly and felt uncomfortable at what had begun to happen".

He later tweeted on Wednesday: "I do unequivocally condemn this behaviour. The report is truly shocking. I will never attend a men only function ever."

The Dorchester Hotel said it was deeply concerned over allegations.

"We are in discussions with the organisers and an investigation is underway,",it said in a statement.

Two children's hospitals, London's Great Ormond Street (GOSH) and Evelina children's hospital, said it would be returning previous donations from the organisation.

London's Royal Academy of Music said it will also refund a GBP10,000 ($A19,600) donation from the Presidents Club.

Reuters