Downing Street has announced that junior trade minister Mark Garnier has been formally cleared of wrongdoing for instructing his former assistant to buy him a sex toy. He was also cleared for misconduct for calling the same staff “sugar tits.” No action will be taken against Garnier.
Garnier’s assistant Caroline Edmondson claimed that Garier gave her money and instructed her to buy a sex toy for his wife and for another woman while working in his Wyre Forest constituency office in 2010.
The Conservative MP did not deny the accusations about the events. He earlier said before the month-long investigation that he won’t be “dishonest” about it. He also insisted that referring to his assistant as “sugar tits” was a reference to the popular BBC comedy Gavin and Stacey. Garnier claimed that such words did not constitute harassment.
The investigation into such allegations against Garnier was conducted by the Cabinet Office to determine if the MP had breached the ministerial code.
A Downing Street spokesman who summarized the findings said in a statement that there was no evidence Garnier had done “anything wrong” since becoming the minister in July 2016.
The spokesman said the Cabinet Office heard evidence on the incident “that happened before Garnier was a minister.” He said there was no dispute as to the facts of the case, only on interpretation between the parties.
The Cabinet Office also said that it was not the intention of Garnier to cause distress, and they emphasized that Garnier apologized unreservedly to the individual affected.
The statement, as well as the general decision of the Cabinet Office, are clearly in favor of the Conservative MP.
Garnier is a former city fund manager. He is married with three children and was elected as MP for Wyre Forest in 2010.
There’s no reaction yet from the side of Edmondson regarding the results of the probe and the Cabinet Office’s official statement into the controversy.