Sex toys PA may sue ‘slimeball’
THE Minister under investigation for making his secretary buy sex toys faces being sued by her after he claimed it wasn’t as bad as it looked because they were friends.
International Trade Minister Mark Garnier was branded a ‘slimeball’ by colleagues of his former aide Caroline Edmondson after he broke a twoweek silence on the matter.
They seized on his claim that the disclosure a fortnight ago in this newspaper that he called her ‘sugar t*ts’ and got her to buy him two sex toys in Soho had been taken ‘out of context’ because ‘at the time we were friends’. His carefully worded statement apologised for the fact that ‘the situation occurred’ – but stopped short of a full apology. A friend of Ms Edmondson said: ‘Mr Garnier’s weasel words about their relationship is a disgrace.
‘Caroline has been a highly respected Commons secretary for more than 30 years. To suggest her relationship with him was anything other than professional is totally untrue. He should have the courage to admit his behaviour was completely unacceptable. Instead he acts like a slimeball trying to cling on to his job.’
Another female friend of Ms Edmondson said: ‘We have urged her to sue over any insinuation about their relationship.’
Married father-of-three Mr Garnier, 53, is being investigated by the Cabinet Office. He said last week: ‘The events of 2010 concerning myself and a former member of staff have been reported outside the context and circumstances in which they occurred. At the time we were friends, and I want to be clear that I did not force or pressure her into doing anything.’
He added that voters in his Wyre Forest constituency in Worcestershire had a right to expect high standards of behaviour from MPs and he apologised that the situation occurred. Ms Edmondson, now Commons secretary to ex-Cabinet Minister John Whittingdale, and Mr Garnier, declined to comment.
RESPECTED: Commons aide Caroline Edmondson