Financial Times investigation reveals groping & sexual harassment at charity dinner

financial times investigation

An undercover investigation, conducted by The Financial Times, has revealed shocking sexual harassment at a charity dinner.

The annual Presidents Club Charity Dinner at the Dorchester Hotel, is facing controversy after it was claimed that female hostesses were groped and propositioned throughout the night.

Two undercover reporters working as hostesses on the night of the auction claimed that male guests repeatedly propositioned them, with one man allegedly exposing himself.

The “men only” fundraising event hired 130 women to host the evening, who were given black outfits and were allegedly told to wear black underwear and ‘sexy’ shoes.

According to the FT, the auction also featured seedy lots, including a night at Soho’s Windmill strip club and plastic surgery to “add spice to your wife.” It is also claimed that brochures detailed that no guests or staff should be sexually harassed.

The event was hosted by David Walliams and according to the FT, who had seen a seating plan for the evening, Arcadia Group boss, Philip Green; Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones; and Ocado boss, Tim Steiner were all due to attend.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Madison Marriage, who went undercover for the Financial Times, said, “I was groped several times, there were numerous other women who had similar experiences.”

“There were hands up skirts, hands on bums, but also hands on hips, hands on stomachs, arms going round your waist unexpectedly.”

A spokesperson said, “The Presidents Club recently hosted its annual dinner, raising several million pounds for disadvantaged children.”

“The organisers are appalled by the allegations of bad behaviour at the event asserted by the Financial Times reporters.”

“Such behaviour is totally unacceptable.”

“The allegations will be investigated fully and promptly and appropriate action taken.”

Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said, “The Financial Times has exposed again how women are being exploited for powerful men’s gratification.”Fi

“Men from across political, business, and entertainment worlds are implicated in this grotesque circus of sleazy rich men pawing at young women and buying crude ‘lots’ in the name of charity.”

“Those who are worried that women’s confrontation of sexual harassment has gone too far and turned into a ‘witch hunt’, look no further.”

Concluding, Walker said, “In the words of Desmond Tutu: ‘If you are neutral on the side of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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