London mayoral hopeful quits admits sex assault claim causing fresh headache for UK Tories

  • The Conservative party’s Daniel Korski abandoned his campaign for London mayor following allegation of sexual assault. 
  • He is accounted of having sexually assaulted a TV producer 10 years ago when he was an adviser to former prime minister David Cameron. 
  • Korski denied the allegations in a statement announcing that he was stepping from from the race with a “heavy heart”.

The UK’s ruling Conservative party was on Wednesday plunged into fresh controversy after one of its London mayoral hopefuls quit after groping claims.

Daniel Korski abandoned his bid to secure the nomination after allegations that he sexually assaulted a TV producer 10 years ago when he was an adviser to prime minister David Cameron.

“I categorically deny the allegation against me,” the 46-year-old Korski said in a statement, announcing that he was stepping down “with a heavy heart”.

“Nothing was ever put to me formally 10 years ago. Nor seven years ago when the allegation was alluded to. No investigation has ever taken place.”

But he said the “unproven” claim had put pressure on his family and distracted from his campaign to be the Tory candidate to take on Labour’s incumbent Sadiq Khan as mayor at elections next May.

Daniel Korski abandoned his bid to secure the nomination for London mayor after allegations surfaced that he allegedly sexually assaulted a TV producer 10 years ago.

Khan is vying for a third term as mayor of the British capital.

Korski’s withdrawal had looked an inevitability after UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman earlier on Wednesday refused to say whether he had Downing Street’s backing.

The Conservatives have been hit in recent years by a series of scandals that combined to force Sunak’s predecessor-but-one Boris Johnson to resign last year.

Most notably, government officials’ flouting of Covid laws by holding parties in Downing Street caused public outrage, and saw Johnson and Sunak fined by police.

Johnson was also accused of appointing a senior Tory party official to a prominent role in parliament despite knowing of concerns about his inappropriate behaviour.

READ | Boris Johnson’s shock exit reverberates through British ruling party

He also faced claims of cronyism in his appointments to the unelected upper chamber House of Lords, and corruption over the funding of renovations at his Downing Street flat.

One Tory MP was jailed in 2020 for sexually assaulting two women, while another was arrested on suspicion of rape.


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