Who is Tory London mayoral candidate Daniel Korski and what are the allegations about him?

Who is Tory London mayoral candidate Daniel Korski and what are the allegations about him?
Daniel Korski: Who is the Tory London mayor hopeful accused of groping …

Tory mayoral hopeful Daniel Korski has been accused of groping TV producer Daisy Goodwin.

The Tories are under pressure to investigate the claims, which were made by Goodwin in the Times and denied by Korski.

They've not opened an investigation yet, but regardless, the story is damaging Korski's chances in the 2024 race.

Here's everything we know about the story.

What has Goodwin alleged?

Goodwin wrote that Korski, then a former Downing Street advisor. touched her breast during a meeting at the then prime minister David Cameron's official residence in 2013.

She alleged she met the government special adviser (spad) at a social event and he suggested they meet again.

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She said Korski arrived late for their meeting, remarked on her sunglasses and said she looked "like Monica Bellucci, the 50-something Italian actress who had recently made headlines by appearing in a Bond film opposite Daniel Craig as an older woman".

Goodwin said this felt "awkwardly flirtatious" and "odd".

She said during the meeting Korski "put his feet on the edge of my chair, leaning back so that I could get a clear view of his crotch".

"When we both stood up at the end of the meeting and went to the door, the spad 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."

She added: “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 has Korski said?

Korski posted a statement on Twitter denying the allegations:

In an interview with TalkTV's Kate McCann, he said he did not understand how Goodwin "came away with that perception" of the meeting a decade ago.

“I totally understand the real anger and frustration that’s out there. But I didn’t do what’s been alleged...I absolutely didn’t do that," he said.

"10 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."

Korski confirmed he met Goodwin, but added: "I’ve had countless meetings in number 10, have had 1000s 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.

"So, I can categorically deny the allegation that’s being made. 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.”

How has the Conservative party responded?

Conservative Party headquarters issued a statement about the story: "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," said a spokesperson.

They said they would not investigate it because a formal complaint had not been made.

So, Goodwin submitted a formal complaint.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, she said: "It's quite difficult to make a complaint.

"It's like trying to get through to BT if your phone line has gone down, it's not an easy process."

She said she decided to speak out now because Korski is running for London mayor.

"I was shocked by it - I can't say that I'm a victim, but I was shocked by it," she said.

"And since I wrote my piece, I have been contacted by other women with some very interesting stories which clearly I can't talk about for legal reasons, but I feel entirely justified in having written the piece and naming him."

How have others reacted?

Children and families minister Claire Coutinho told Sky News she had paused her support for Mr Korski and said that any complaint should be investigated "swiftly".

She added: "But at the same time, this is an allegation. He's roundly denied it.

"If there is a complaint in the system, it needs to be followed up swiftly so we can find the facts and see what's happened, but I do think it's a very serious and concerning allegation."

Marsha De Cordova, Labour MP for Battersea in southwest London, condemned the lack of an inquiry, saying: “Ignoring these allegations while the prime minister claims that tackling sexual violence against women is a priority for his government is disingenuous.”

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