Jimmy Tarbuck attacks hen parties in Presidents Club interview

Veteran comedian Jimmy Tarbuck has criticised hen parties at airports in an interview about the Presidents Club charity dinner scandal.

The 77-year-old said that he "never saw anything untoward" when he led a toast at the controversial men-only fundraiser, where hostesses were allegedly groped and sexually harassed.

He told Sky News through the intercom system at his home that those condemning the event should look at the actions of hen parties.

Jimmy Tarbuck spoke to Sky News through the intercom at his house (Screenshot/Sky News)

"Tell them to go to London airport and see hen parties going on if they want to see bad behaviour," he added.

"It has to be both ways, it can't be all men that they are including.

"I hear on good report hen parties might be banned on some airlines, they should look into that."

"I can't understand how sick children should suffer from it," he continued.

"I did the loyal toast, which was a pleasure, and thanked them for supporting the children's home and that was it and then I came home.

"Were there a lot of pretty girls there? Of course there were, there were over 100 of them, all looking nice, but I never saw, I never heard any bad language or insinuations to them and I left after I had done my bit."

The Presidents Club has disbanded and a number of guests have faced a backlash for attending.

Senior Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn has been effectively sacked from his frontbench role as shadow business and international trade spokesman after it emerged that he was there.

Children and families minister Nadhim Zahawi has also faced strong criticism for attending.

My friend @nadhimzahawi is a really decent and honourable guy who's in public life to help others - part of a great team at DFE https://t.co/wkPQpIH9Rz

-- Michael Gove (@michaelgove) January 25, 2018

University of Bolton vice-chancellor Professor George Holmes confirmed he went to the event but claimed he felt "uncomfortable".

Charities and businesses have sought to dissociate themselves from the Presidents Club following the disclosures in the Financial Times.

A number of charities, including Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, which have benefited from the £20 million raised by the organisation over more than 30 years, said they would refund previous donations.

Presidents Club fundraiser
Great Ormond Street Hospital has said it will return donations from Presidents Club (John Stillwell/PA)

Businessman David Meller quit his roles at the Department for Education and the Mayor's Fund for London over his involvement in organising the event.

After it emerged that the auction included lunch with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and tea with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, the Bank and the Foreign Office made clear that neither man had known about it and would not be honouring the engagements.

According to the FT, the hostesses at the event were told to wear skimpy black dresses, black underwear and "sexy" black shoes.

Reporter Madison Marriage, who went undercover as part of the paper's investigation, said she was groped several times and other hostesses had suffered similar treatment.

The Charity Commission said it was looking into the allegations "as a matter of urgency".

The Dorchester Hotel, where the dinner was held, said it was not aware of any claims following the event and an investigation had been launched.

A spokesman for the Artista agency, which recruited the hostesses, said it was not aware of any claims of sexual harassment but that any complaints would be dealt with promptly and fairly.

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