• MP for Wyre Forest found not to have breached ministerial code following allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • Investigation concludes day after Damian Green sacked over pornography allegations.

MP Mark Garnier has been cleared of sexual misconduct following an investigation into claims he asked his secretary to buy him sex toys and called her "sugar t**s".

Prime minister Theresa May said she believes that "a line should be drawn under the issue" in the wake of the Cabinet Office's review.

Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest, was under investigation following allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards his former secretary, Caroline Edmonson.

He was alleged to have called her the sexist name in front of a large crowd of people in 2010 and made her buy two vibrators at a sex shop in Soho.

The international trade minister did not deny the claims, but said they did not amount to harassment. He claimed asking Edmondson to buy sex toys was just "good-humoured hijinks" after a Christmas lunch and the "sugar t**s" remark was in reference to BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey.

Garnier's clearance arrived the day after May sacked deputy PM Damian Green over allegations he viewed "extensive" amounts of pornography on his Commons office computer.

In a statement, 10 Downing Street said: "The Cabinet Office concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that Mr Garnier's conduct as a Minister since 2016 had breached the expected standards of behaviour. The Prime Minister's view is therefore that Mr Garnier did not break the Ministerial Code while holding government office.

"The Cabinet Office also took evidence in relation to an incident that happened before Mr Garnier was a Minister, between Mr Garnier and a member of his parliamentary and constituency staff.

"The Cabinet Office concluded that there was no dispute about the facts of the incident, but there was a significant difference of interpretation between the parties, and that the member of staff in Mr Garnier's office was distressed by what had occurred.

"It was not his intention to cause distress, and Mr Garnier has apologised unreservedly to the individual. On that basis the Prime Minister considers that a line should be drawn under the issue."

Mark Garnier
Mark Garnier defended his behaviour as 'hi-jinks' Parliament