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Daniel Korski says he told Tories about groping claim before London mayoral run


Daniel Korski says he told Tories about groping claim before London mayoral run


former Downing Street aide said he told Conservative officials about an allegation he groped a TV producer in No 10 during his selection as a potential candidate to become London mayor.

It comes amid reports that at least one Conservative MP has withdrawn support for Daniel Korski, who has said he does not understand how Daisy Goodwin “came away with that perception” of the meeting between them a decade ago.

Mr Korski has said it is “categorically” untrue that he groped Ms Goodwin, after she used articles in The Times and Daily Mail to identify the former special adviser.

“I didn’t do what’s been alleged. I absolutely didn’t do that. Ten years ago, when it happened, nothing was said to me. Seven years ago, when this first came out, nobody alleged anything to me.

“I just didn’t do what’s being alleged,” he told TalkTV on Tuesday.

“I’ve had countless meetings in Number 10, have had thousands of meetings since then in my business career, I treat everybody with the utmost respect, I work hard to create an empowering and respectful environment, and I sit appropriately in chairs, and I try to treat everybody with respect in order to get the best out of a professional situation.

“I don’t know how she could have come away with that perception.

“I certainly didn’t leave the meeting feeling that I had done anything wrong, and subsequently even wrote to her, congratulating her on some of her professional success. But I don’t really know why she felt the way she did.”

Mr Korski has said that he was not aware of an official complaint being made against him, and in a statement posted to Twitter said it was “disheartening” that the accusation had re-emerged during his mayoral bid.

In the interview he acknowledged that the allegation had been raised as part of the process for choosing the Conservatives’ candidate to become London mayor.

“During the process, I was asked about if there were any outstanding issues the party may be aware of. I said to the party, seven years ago there was a story. I was never named in the story. As far as I know, there was no investigation. But I did mention this to the party.”

Asked by TalkTV if he had always been faithful to his wife, he said: “Look, I mean, I have a fantastic marriage to my wife. And I’m really, you know, excited that we’ve built a fantastic family together. I don’t think it would be appropriate to talk about anything else.

Daisy Goodwin, who has accused Daniel Korski of groping her a decade ago

/ PA

“I have a loving relationship with my wife. We’ve been together for 22 years. We met originally in Bosnia after the war. And, you know, I’m thrilled to to build a life and a family with her.”

The Conservative Party said it was not investigating the claim and Downing Street said No 10 was a safe environment for women.

Downing Street earlier refused to be drawn on the individual case or whether there would be a Cabinet Office investigation into Mr Korski who, at the time of the allegation, was a special adviser to then-prime minister David Cameron.

A Tory spokesman said: “The Conservative Party has an established code of conduct and formal processes where complaints can be made in confidence.

“The party considers all complaints made under the code of conduct but does not conduct investigations where the party would not be considered to have primary jurisdiction over another authority.”

It is understood no formal complaint has been made by Ms Goodwin to Conservative Party headquarters.

According to Sky News, Harrow MP Robert Halfon has paused his support for Mr Korski in the wake of the allegation. The Standard has contacted Mr Halfon to request a comment on the report.

Ms Goodwin, who was behind the hit show Victoria, wrote in the Times that at the end of a meeting “the spad [special adviser] stepped towards me and suddenly put his hand on my breast”.

“Astonished, I said loudly, ‘Are you really touching my breast?’ The spad sprang away from me and I left.

“Although I suppose legally his action could be called sexual assault, I have to say that I did not feel frightened.

“I was older, taller and very possibly wiser than the spad, and having worked for the BBC in the 80s I knew how to deal with gropers.

“What I felt was surprise and some humiliation.

“I was a successful award-winning TV producer with 40 or so people working for me; this was not behaviour that I would have tolerated in my office.

“By the time I got back to work I had framed it as an anecdote about the spad who groped me in No 10.

“His behaviour was so bizarre that I couldn’t help seeing the humour in it.

“It was as if I had walked into Carry On Downing Street.”

It is not the first time Ms Goodwin has spoken about the alleged incident, but she said that she now wanted to name Mr Korski given he was in the running to become the Conservative mayoral candidate.

Asked if Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thought it was important that allegations of harassment should be investigated, the No 10 spokesman said: “Without wanting to be drawn into specifics, I think in any walk of life, I think the Prime Minister would expect that to be the case.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Mr Korski has “clearly got to answer” questions about his alleged behaviour.

“I know very little of the detail here, other than I’ve seen the awful allegations,” Sir Keir told the New Statesman’s Politics Live Conference in central London on Tuesday.

“He has clearly got to answer those allegations, as far as I’m concerned.

“I think there will be a level of concern that yet again it is a sort of pattern of behaviour in politics.”

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