Lord Mendelsohn 'sacked' from front bench after attending Presidents Club dinner

Spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn says Labour peer 'did not witness any of the appalling incidents described'

Lydia Smith
Friday 26 January 2018 01:02
Lord Mendelsohn said he 'unreservedly condemned' the alleged behaviour at the gala
Lord Mendelsohn said he 'unreservedly condemned' the alleged behaviour at the gala

Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn has been effectively sacked from the party’s front bench after attending the Presidents Club dinner, where women were allegedly groped and harassed.

The peer, who “did not witness any of the appalling incidents described”, had been the party’s spokesman on business and international trade matters in the House of Lords.

A Labour Lords spokesperson said: “Jeremy Corbyn has this evening asked Lord Mendelsohn to step back from the front bench as he attended the Presidents Club dinner, and he has agreed to do so.

“Lord Mendelsohn has previously made clear that he attended part of the dinner as president of a charity that received support from the event and he had no knowledge of an after-party.

“Lord Mendelsohn did not witness any of the appalling incidents described in reports and has unreservedly condemned such behaviour.”

The spokesperson added: “It’s right that Lord Mendelsohn has stepped down.

“The reports about this appalling event were deeply shocking and there can be no excuse for anyone’s attendance.”

An expose by the Financial Times alleged young women working as “hostesses” for around £15-an-hour were subjected to sexual harassment and groping at the charity gala.

The black-tie event, attended by 360 leading figures from business, politics and finance, allegedly included auction lots involving a free lap dance and plastic surgery that could be used to “add spice to your wife”.

The FT reported that an unnamed “society figure” told a hostess: “I want you to down that glass [of champagne], rip off your knickers and dance on that table.”

Women working at the event, which raised money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and other charities, reportedly had their phones confiscated and their bathroom breaks monitored.

The Presidents Club announced it was closing down following the allegations.

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