Location:Home > news > finance and politics. About 130 women had been hired to work as hostesses at the event. The report

finance and politics. About 130 women had been hired to work as hostesses at the event. The report

Time:2018-01-25 20:11Underwear site information Click:

charity gala in London Dorchester Hotel Presidents Club charity women groped at Charity gala

London: Women hired to entertain businessmen and politicians at a men-only charity fundraising gala in London were groped, propositioned and sexually harassed at the secretive event, the Financial Times newspaper said on Wednesday.

Coming at a time of intense public debate about sexual harassment in the workplace, the report caused an immediate backlash against the Presidents Club charity, with a major corporate sponsor and a prominent beneficiary severing ties.

The Financial Times said the Presidents Club fundraising gala had been an annual fixture on London's social calendar for years, attended by property tycoons, financiers, politicians and other powerful men. Its Charitable Trust could not immediately be reached for comment.

The newspaper sent two people undercover to work at the event held last week at the Dorchester Hotel on prestigious Park Lane, which was attended by about 360 men from business, finance and politics. About 130 women had been hired to work as hostesses at the event.

The report said the hostesses were told to wear skimpy black dresses with matching underwear and "sexy" high-heel shoes before being paraded in front of braying men.

It said they all had to sign a five-page non-disclosure agreement about the event, though they were not given copies to keep.

The Financial Times said the Presidents Club trust had two joint chairmen, London property developer Bruce Ritchie and luxury goods businessman David Meller, who also runs a chain of schools and is a non-executive board member at the ministry of education.

Reuters contacted Ritchie's Residential Land company, Meller's luxury goods firm Meller Designs and his educational trust to seek comment about the FT report. No one was made available to speak about it.

The article said many of the hostesses had been subject to fondling, lunging, attempts to kiss them, lewd comments and requests to join guests in hotel bedrooms.

Some said men had put their hands up their skirts, it said, and one complained a guest had exposed his p***s to her.

"Is this what these men demand in order to donate to charitable causes? Utterly appalling and shameful," tweeted Yvette Cooper, a prominent member of parliament and former minister from the opposition Labour Party.

The newspaper said lots put up for auction during the gala event included a night at a strip club and a course of plastic surgery, with the invitation "Add spice to your wife".

"YOU LOOK FAR TOO SOBER"

Officials at the Bank of England said they were appalled that such an event could take place in the City today. One of the lots on offer at the auction was tea with the Governor Mark Carney, but the Bank said it had not approved the prize.

Also on offer for big donors was lunch with Boris Johnson, Britain's foreign secretary. The Foreign Office declined immediate comment.

The Financial Times reported that at an after-party, held in a smaller room off the main lobby of the Dorchester, a man described as a prominent society figure had grabbed a hostess by the waist and pulled her in against his stomach.

"You look far too sober," the man was reported as saying. "I want you to down that glass, rip off your knickers (underwear) and dance on that table."

The newspaper quoted the Dorchester Hotel as saying it had a policy of zero tolerance towards harassment.

The Presidents Club Charitable Trust says on its website it was founded more than three decades ago to raise money for underprivileged children.

"Over the years, esteemed members of the investment, real estate, sports, entertainment, motor industry and fashion world have come together to support and raise millions of pounds for the trust in its work to help as many worthy children’s causes," the website says.

One of the beneficiaries, London's famous Great Ormond Street Hospital, said it would be returning previous donations from the Presidents Club after the FT report.

Advertising group WPP said it had traditionally sponsored a table at the annual event, but would now be ending its association with it.

The education ministry said the event was attended in a personal capacity and as such it could not comment further.

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi

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