UK minister admits asking secretary to buy vibrators, calling her 'sugar t--s'

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Sex Toy
An exhibitor poses with dildos hand crafted from wood, at the booth of the company Waldmichelsholdi at the "Venus" erotic fair in Berlin October 17, 2013. Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

One of Theresa May’s ministers reportedly asked his former female secretary to purchase sex toys for him. The allegation has prompted May to order an investigation.

The investigation comes after the Sunday Mail newspaper published Caroline Edmondson's allegations against junior international trade minister Mark Garnier. According to Edmondson, Garnier took her to a sex shop in London in 2010.

At that time, he asked her to purchase two vibrators. The British minister waited outside the sex shop.

Edmondson said Garnier told her that one of the sex toys was for his wife. The other one was for a female assistant in his Wyre Forest constituency office in the West Midlands. She also stated, "Another time in the bar he said to me in the hearing of others - you are going nowhere, sugar t--s,” adding that Garnier was concerned she will go off and work for another MP.

Sunday Mail also reported Garnier’s admission that the two events took place. "I'm not going to deny it, because I'm not going to be dishonest," Garnier said.

However, he denied that they constituted sexual harassment. He argued that he and Edmondson "got on fine.”

Garnier claimed telling Edmondson that he did not think going to the sex shop was a good idea. He told Sunday Mail that using the sexual slur against her was part of a conversation about a British TV show where the term was used to describe an attractive woman. But Edmondson said Garnier's version of events is a lie.

Last week, British media reported that female researchers and aides at Parliament were sharing stories of alleged inappropriate conduct by lawmakers. UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed on “The Andrew Marr Show” on the BBC Sunday that there would be a probe into "whether there has been a breach of the ministerial code in this particular case."

He also said May will write to John Bercow, the speaker of Parliament's House of Commons, to seek advice on how to change this culture. Reports of alleged sexual misconduct in Westminster come amid similar scandal surrounding Hollywood media mogul Harvey Weinstein. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has condemned “warped and degrading” behaviour at Westminster.

Meanwhile, May’s spokesman said unwanted sexual behaviour was “completely unacceptable.” He warned that any ministers found to have acted inappropriately would have to deal with “serious action,” the Daily Mail reports.