The children and families minister has been given a "dressing down" by the Conservative party's chief whip over his attendance at a men-only charity dinner at which female hostesses were allegedly groped.

ITV reported that Nadhim Zahawi was hauled up in front of Julian Smith to explain further about his appearance at the scandal-hit Presidents Club dinner.

The scandal broke on Wednesday (24 January) with revelations from an undercover operation by FT journalists.

The club, which has raised millions of pounds for charity over its 30-year existence, folded in the face of claims that many of the men at its gala dinner last week harassed, groped and propositioned female hostesses.

The hostesses, who were paid £150 for the night, had to sign non-disclosure agreements and were made to wear short skirts and black underwear, they told the FT.

As the claims surfaced, Zahawi used Twitter to defend himself. "I do unequivocally condemn this behaviour," he tweeted. "The report is truly shocking. I will never attend a men-only function ever."

He later revealed that he told Downing Street that he and some friends arrived at the dinner at 8pm and left at 9.35pm as he "felt uncomfortable".

The MP added that he had not witnessed any of the allegations that were made by the FT but was "shocked" to hear of them.

In the backlash, businessman David Meller, the President's Club trustee, was forced to resign from his roles at the Mayor's Fund for London and the Department for Education.

Charities which had received donations from the event said that they would give back the money. Among them was Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity which was just one of several charities that had benefited from the £20m raised at the annual dinners.

Items that had been auctioned at last week's dinner included lunch with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a tour of the Bank of England with the governor Mark Carney.