Daniel Korski: Conservative mayoral hopeful drops out of race following groping allegation - full statement
Daniel Korski was accused by Daisy Goodwin of having groped her breast during a meeting to discuss a proposed TV show 10 years ago.
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The Conservative mayoral hopeful accused of groping a TV producer and novelist has dropped out of the race.
Daniel Korski, a businessman who worked as a special adviser under David Cameron, said he has decided “with a heavy heart, to withdraw from the Conservative mayoral contest”.
Since announcing his intention to run, Mr Korski had received backing from a number of prominent Tories, and succesfully secured a place on the three-person shortlist.
However, in a recent piece for The Times, Daisy Goodwin, creator of the TV show Victoria, claimed he had grabbed her breast a decade ago during a meeting over a proposed new show.
She said he was “awkwardly flirtatious”, and that he leant back in his chair “so that I could get a clear view of his crotch”.
Ms Goodwin wrote that Mr Korski then groped her, before he “sprang away from me and I left” when she asked: “Are you really touching my breast?”
She had written about the alleged incident previously in a Radio Times piece in 2017, but had not named him.
Mr Korski has denied the accusation “in the strongest possible terms”.
Following the allegation, several Tory MPs have withdrawn their support for Mr Korski. Ms Goodwin also told the BBC that since penning her piece in The Times, other women have contacted her with “very interesting stories”, which she said “entirely justified” her naming Mr Korski.
In his statement, Mr Korski said he is “proud of having run a positive campaign that championed new ideas, technology and talent, and the years I have campaigned for the Conservative Party and to make the lives of Londoners better.
“I believe strongly that Londoners deserve an uplifting and positive vision for their city. I tried hard to offer that.”
The two remaining candidates are Assembly Member Susan Hall and King’s Counsel barrister Mozammel Hossain. London Conservative members will vote on who they want to see take on Sadiq Khan at next May’s election, with a winner to be announced on July 19.
Daniel Korski’s statement in full
“I have decided, with a heavy heart, to withdraw from the Conservative mayoral contest.
“I categorically deny the allegation against me. Nothing was ever put to me formally ten years ago. Nor seven years ago when the allegation was alluded to. No investigation has ever taken place. I have been clear I would welcome and constructively participate in any investigation.
“However, the pressure on my family because of this false and unproven allegation and the inability to get a hearing for my message of ‘The London Dream’ makes it impossible for my campaign to carry on.
“I am proud of having run a positive campaign that championed new ideas, technology and talent, and the years I have campaigned for the Conservative Party and to make the lives of Londoners better.
“I believe strongly that Londoners deserve an uplifting and positive vision for their city. I tried hard to offer that.
“The news agenda is becoming a distraction from the race and the Conservative Party.
“I wish the excellent remaining contestants well and I know the Conservative Party’s eventual candidate will beat Sadiq Khan and offer the kind of rejuvenation London so desperately needs. I will do my utmost to support the Conservative Party and the eventual Conservative candidate.
“Thank you to my family, friends and all my supporters.”