Tory MP's wife denies groping housekeeper

Employment tribunal told that sexual moves were attempt to persuade her to join a threesome

The wife of a Tory MP today denied groping their housekeeper during an attempt to persuade her to join in a threesome with her and her husband.

The employee made the claim at an employment tribunal, saying the couple invited her into a sitting room where they began to kiss in front of her.

The MP and his wife deny the allegations and the employee's claims of sexual discrimination, unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and unpaid holiday pay.

The parties in the case, being heard at a south coast tribunal centre, have been granted anonymity and the MP and his wife can be referred to only as Mr and Mrs P.

Graham Watson, representing the claimant, told the hearing she was invited to join the couple in a sitting room on one occasion, which she initially declined but eventually accepted.

Mr Watson said the claimant took a beer and sat on the sofa and Mr P sat down "quite close" to her.

Speaking to Mrs P, Mr Watson said she sat on the floor between his legs and began to French kiss her husband.

Mr Watson said: "The claimant was embarrassed and looked away.

"You touched the claimant in her crotch. The claimant was wearing jeans.

"She was very shocked and she jumped and saw it was your hand reaching into her crotch. What you were doing was rubbing and feeling her.

"She shot back on to the sofa and your husband put his hand on to the claimant's thigh.

"She was shocked and scared and shot to her feet and ran out.

"Her words were 'I am sorry, I'm not into this sort of thing' and quickly left the room.

"You were attempting to get the claimant to engage in some form of sexual activity.

"You were French-kissing your husband at the same time as touching her and you wanted her to join in.

"When the claimant left, you sat giggling and thought it was very funny."

But Mrs P said the whole incident "absolutely did not happen".

Mr Watson also put to Mrs P his client's claims that her husband would walk naked in the house in front of the claimant and that she would also undress in front of her.

Mrs P said: "Even in our own bathroom, my husband always wore a towel. He would not walk around the house naked. This has not happened."

The tribunal heard that a few weeks after the alleged touching incident, the claimant claims she was abruptly asked to move out of the house and given £300 in cash, which she felt gave her no choice but to resign.

The couple say that the claimant quit after they informed her disciplinary proceedings were being brought against her because of her handling of other members of staff.

Mr Watson suggested to Mrs P that this action was taken because she was "embarrassed" by the incident, which she denied.

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.

PA

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