Labour’s Lord Mendelsohn ‘sacked from party’s front bench’

Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn has been effectively sacked from the party’s front bench after attending the controversial Presidents Club dinner.

A Labour Lords spokesman said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn has this evening asked Lord Mendelsohn to step back from the front bench as he attended the Presidents Club dinner, and he has agreed to do so.

‘Lord Mendelsohn has previously made clear that he attended part of the dinner as president of a charity that received support from the event and he had no knowledge of an after-party.

‘Lord Mendelsohn did not witness any of the appalling incidents described in reports and has unreservedly condemned such behaviour.’

The peer had been a Labour spokesman on business and international trade matters in the House of Lords.

A spokesman for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘It’s right that Lord Mendelsohn has stepped down.

‘The reports about this appalling event were deeply shocking and there can be no excuse for anyone’s attendance.’

Hostesses at the event were allegedly told to wear skimpy black dresses, black underwear and ‘sexy’ black shoes.

Reporter Madison Marriage, who went undercover at the dinner, said she was groped several times and that other hostesses had suffered similar treatment.

Following the disclosures about the event in the Financial Times, charities and businesses sought to dissociate themselves from the Presidents Club.

A number of charities that have benefited from the £20 million raised by the Presidents Club over more than 30 years said they will now refund previous donations.

Businessman David Meller quit his roles at the Department for Education and the Mayor’s Fund for London over his involvement in organising the event.

After it emerged that the auction included lunch with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and tea with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, the Bank and the Foreign Office made clear that neither man had known about it and would not be honouring the engagements.

The Charity Commission said it was looking into the allegations ‘as a matter of urgency’.

The Dorchester Hotel said it was not aware of any claims following the event and an investigation had been launched.

A spokesman for the Artista agency, which recruited the hostesses, said they were not aware of any claims of sexual harassment but that any complaints would e dealt with promptly and fairly.

More to follow…