Firms that attended Presidents Club dinner 'should publish gender pay gap data'

Businesses that had representatives at the Presidents Club charity dinner should publish gender pay gap data "by the end of this week", Education Minister Anne Milton has said.

The call came as MPs lined up to condemn the behaviour at the male-only Dorchester gala last Thursday.

Former education secretary Justine Greening told the Commons that she shared the "anger and disgust" of colleagues and called for data to be published.

She said: "The best thing we could all do is make sure every single one of those business people at that dinner who runs a big business in our country can now damn well get their gender pay gap data published."

Ms Milton said: "Every single business, every single organisation, who attended that dinner should report at least by the end of this week."

Tory MP Vicky Ford (Chelmsford) reserved criticism for the women involved in organising the event, accusing them of having "groomed and pimped" young women.

She said: "Does she also share my disgust for the women who put themselves in a position of leadership and groomed and pimped the young ladies involved and agree that their actions also are abhorrent?"

Ms Milton responded: "This doesn't really fall very much short of payment for sex in my view and it is really shocking that it is probably other women that are encouraging these women into these sort of jobs."

Former work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper told MPs of the disclaimer issued by the Presidents Club ahead of the event that they would "accept no responsibility" for the actions of staff, members and guests.

She said: "The fact that they try to put that disclaimer in the first place shows how shocking it is.

"They are trying to disclaim any responsibly for what happens, the organiser chose to make this a men-only event, they chose to treat hostesses in this way to make them parade across the stage in front of men, to make them wear black skimpy outfits and specify the colour of their underwear.

"They chose to ask them to drink before the event, does she agree all the organisers including the Presidents Club and all of the private companies involved in organising this should be investigated for breach of the law and breach of the charity rules?"

Ms Milton said: "If they are trying in their literature to deny responsibility they will wake up, maybe at the end of this urgent question and realise actually they now do have some responsibility."