Conservative London mayoral hopeful Daniel Korski has called an allegation he groped a woman “baseless” – as he “categorically” denied any wrongdoing.
The former Downing Street adviser released a lengthy statement on Tuesday after the allegation emerged on Monday evening.
TV producer and screenwriter Daisy Goodwin alleged in an article for The Times that she was “groped” by Mr Korski a decade ago, when he was working for then-prime minister David Cameron.
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In a statement posted on social media, Mr Korski said that “politics can be a rough and challenging business”, and that “unfortunately, in the midst of this demanding environment, this baseless allegation from the past has resurfaced”.
He made no indication he would step aside from the three-person race to run as the Tory candidate in the next year’s mayoral election.
Mr Korski added: “I know that simply denying such allegations may not be enough to alleviate the concerns and doubts that might arise in your minds. I firmly believe in the importance of empathy, respect, and the wellbeing of every individual within society.
“I am – and have always been – committed to fostering an environment where everybody feels valued, heard and supported.”
He added: “As a father I am especially committed to making sure everyone feels safe on the streets of London.
“To those who have been affected by any form of misconduct or harassment, let me assure you that I stand firmly against such behaviour. I am committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and supported.
“I am grateful for each and every one of you, for your continued support.”
Tory members will vote from 4 to 18 July on their preferred choice for the London mayoral election next year, with the winner announced on 19 July.