In Brief

Victoria creator Daisy Goodwin claims she was groped by Downing Street official

TV producer says man touched her breast during meeting at No. 10

TV producer Daisy Goodwin has claimed a government official groped her during a visit to 10 Downing Street, in the latest of a series of allegations of sexual misconduct in politics.

Goodwin, creator of the hit ITV series Victoria, says the man put his hand on her breast during a meeting to discuss a proposed TV programme, reports the Coventry Telegraph

The allegation follows a series of claims against politicians including Michael Fallon, who resigned as defence secretary earlier this month, admitting that his behaviour towards women in the past had “fallen short”.

Goodwin told the Radio Times that the alleged groping incident took place while David Cameron was PM, between 2010 and 2016, and that she did not report it.

During the meeting, she recalled, she had tried to shift the conversation back to TV programming after the official, who was a few years younger than her, “put his feet on my chair (we were sitting side by side) and said that my sunglasses made me look like a Bond girl”.

“At the end of the meeting we both stood up and the official, to my astonishment, put his hand on my breast,” Goodwin said. “I looked at the hand and then in my best Lady Bracknell voice said, ‘Are you actually touching my breast?’” 

The official dropped his hand and laughed nervously, before Goodwin left in “what can only be called high dudgeon”, she added, according to The Guardian.

The TV exec said: “I wasn’t traumatised, I was cross, but by the next day it had become an anecdote, ‘The day I was groped in No. 10’. I think humiliating the official was probably the appropriate punishment, but suppose he tried it on with someone less able to defend themselves?”

Goodwin said she was motivated to speak up after seeing the unfolding allegations of abuse by men in positions of power, both in Westminster and in Hollywood, where a string of women have accused leading figures including producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse. She admits that she remains unsure whether she should have reported the incident at the time.

“All I do know is that in writing Victoria, I have created a heroine who is the ultimate retort to the Harvey Weinsteins and lecherous officials of this world, a woman who could never be humiliated by a powerful man.”

Responding to the allegations, a Downing Street spokesperson said such claims “are taken very seriously. The Cabinet Office would look into any formal complaint, should one be made.”

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