Daisy Goodwin ‘trolled’ after speaking out about London mayoral candidate Daniel Korski

TV writer Daisy Goodwin accused mayoral hopeful Daniel Korski of groping her breast at Downing Street  10  (PA Archive)
TV writer Daisy Goodwin accused mayoral hopeful Daniel Korski of groping her breast at Downing Street 10 (PA Archive)

The writer who accused London Tory mayoral hopeful Daniel Korski of groping her breast - sparking his withdrawal from the race - says she has been trolled and abused since speaking out.

Daisy Goodwin alleged she was touched inappropriately by Mr Korski, 10 years ago in Downing Street, in newspaper articles published in The Times and Daily Mail in late June.

Mr Korski “categorically” denied the allegations, but dropped out of the race to become the Conservative candidate in the London mayoral election days after the claim came to light.

Writing for MailOnline on Tuesday, author and TV producer Ms Goodwin spoke of her decision to name him, against advice from friends, and the backlash she has experienced since.

“I felt very strongly that voters in the capital should know the kind of man they might be voting for,” she wrote.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to speak out about this publicly. In fact, three of my closest girlfriends, who work in the media, all advised against it.

Daniel Korski (Nigel Howard)
Daniel Korski (Nigel Howard)

“They were worried that by identifying Korski I would be ‘victim blamed’ - that people would question my motives for making this public, and my reputation would be tarnished as a result.

“They said - correctly - that I would be trolled.

“One of them said: ‘I get that the guy is a sleazeball, but what’s in it for you?’

“I couldn’t help but reflect on my friends’ advice when I met a senior Tory who I count as a friend recently. His first words to me were: ‘Well done for destroying the career of the only man who stood any chance of beating Sadiq Khan.’

“I could only say that I don’t think many Tories want a groper to be in charge of the safety of women and girls in the capital.”

She said speaking out also brought her “the rare sensation of knowing you are doing the right thing”.

“Any pushback I have received on speaking out has been worth it in my view: I have two daughters, aged 23 and 30, and I want them to live in a world where they can go to work without having to contend with predatory men.

“The only way that can happen is if women can complain when a man touches them in a sexual way in the workplace: whether it’s a hand on their thigh at a meeting in a coffee shop, a buttock fondle at a conference - or even a kiss on the lips after winning the World Cup.”

She had “agonised for weeks” about whether she should name Mr Korski, concerned about the damage it could do to his family.

“I am not a vengeful person by nature, and I did wonder before I pressed ‘send’ on the finished article, whether I had the right to complain, when really the effect on me had been humiliating but not traumatic,” she wrote in the Mail.

“What clinched it for me was a conversation with my older daughter who said: ‘Well, how will you feel if he is elected mayor and you said nothing?’”

In a statement confirming he was stepping down from the mayoral race on June 29, Mr Korski said: “I have decided, with a heavy heart, to withdraw from the Conservative mayoral contest.

“I categorically deny the allegation against me. Nothing was ever put to me formally ten years ago. Nor seven years ago when the allegation was alluded to. No investigation has ever taken place. I have been clear I would welcome and constructively participate in any investigation.

“However, the pressure on my family because of this false and unproven allegation and the inability to get a hearing for my message of ‘The London Dream’ makes it impossible for my campaign to carry on.

“I am proud of having run a positive campaign that championed new ideas, technology and talent, and the years I have campaigned for the Conservative Party and to make the lives of Londoners better.

“I believe strongly that Londoners deserve an uplifting and positive vision for their city. I tried hard to offer that.

“The news agenda is becoming a distraction from the race and the Conservative Party.”