May ‘appalled’ at reports of sexual harassment at charity gala

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “frankly appalled” at reports of sexual harassment at a charity gala in London and that it shows more work needs to be done to tackle the objectification of women.

Women hired to entertain businessmen and politicians at a men-only charity fundraising gala were groped, propositioned and sexually harassed at the secretive event, the Financial Times newspaper said on Wednesday.

“I was frankly appalled when I read the report,” May told Bloomberg Television in Davos. “I thought that sort of attitude of the objectification of women was something that was in the past. Sadly, what that event showed is that there is still a lot more work for us to do.”

May said she plans her position to ensure that women are respected and treated equally.

But she gave her support to Nadhim Zahawi, a junior minister in the education department, who has been criticised after it emerged he attended the dinner.

“I understand that Nadhim was uncomfortable about what happened at the dinner and left the dinner on that basis,” May said.

Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by Stephen Addison