The Cabinet Office will not investigate allegations that the former Conservative mayoral hopeful Daniel Korski groped a woman when he worked in Downing Street 10 years ago.
Daisy Goodwin, the novelist and TV producer who made the claim, said she was disappointed, and questioned why there was no dedicated body that investigated serious allegations against MPs and advisers.
She told the Times that a senior official at the Cabinet Office had told her there were two options: to refer it to the police if it was a criminal matter, or to do nothing because Korski no longer worked in government.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “The Cabinet Office has been approached by an individual in relation to this matter and they have been directed to the relevant authorities for such allegations.”
Korski, who denies the claim, dropped out of the race to be the Conservative mayoral candidate for London on Wednesday after Downing Street and senior Conservatives described the groping allegations made against him as “very serious”.
Goodwin had alleged in a piece for the Times that Korski had put his hand on her breast during a meeting at Downing Street when he was an adviser to David Cameron.
She submitted a formal complaint to the Cabinet Office about Korski’s alleged behaviour on Tuesday evening.
Korski, a tech entrepreneur, said this week that while he still “categorically” denied the claim, he had decided, “with a heavy heart”, to step down from the race as “the news agenda is becoming a distraction from the race and the Conservative party”.
Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson has said the prime minister would encourage anyone with complaints against former staff members to come forward, but dodged questions on whether Sunak thought Korski should suspend his campaign.
Goodwin said she felt “entirely justified” in naming Korski, a decade after the alleged incident took place, as she said more women had come forward with “very interesting stories”.
Pressed during an interview with the BBC this week if she was “absolutely certain” the alleged event had taken place, Goodwin said: “Yes, it happened to me 10 years ago. But when something like this happens to you, you know that it happened to you because you were there, you felt it, you felt amazed, shocked and rather humiliated.”