Daniel Korski, rising star in UK Conservative Party, accused of groping woman

TV producer Daisy Goodwin files formal complaint with Cabinet Office over incident she said happened a decade ago, hints there may be other alleged victims

Screen capture from video of Jewish Conservative party London mayoral candidate Daniel Korski, June 2023. (YouTube. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen capture from video of Jewish Conservative party London mayoral candidate Daniel Korski, June 2023. (YouTube. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

LONDON — Daniel Korski, the only Jewish candidate in the London mayoral race and a political figure who was just beginning to come to the British public’s attention, has been accused of assaulting a woman during a meeting at Downing Street a decade ago.

Television producer Daisy Goodwin wrote in The Times, the British newspaper, that Korski grabbed her breast following a meeting. Korski, who was working as a special advisor to then-prime minister David Cameron at the time, has denied the allegations.

“In the strongest possible terms, Dan categorically denies any allegations of inappropriate behavior whatsoever,” a spokesperson said.

On Wednesday Goodwin posted to her Instagram account that she had filed a formal complaint with the Cabinet Office.

Goodwin told BBC Radio that she filed the complaint because she was told there would be no investigation of her claims until she did.

“I was shocked by it – I can’t say that I’m a victim, but I was shocked by it,” she told the station in remarks reported by the Sky News outlet.

“And since I wrote my piece, I have been contacted by other women with some very interesting stories which clearly I can’t talk about for legal reasons, but I feel entirely justified in having written the piece and naming him,” she said.

Daisy Goodwin, writer of the PBS Masterpiece series ‘Victoria,’ poses for a portrait during the 2016 Television Critics Association summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday, July 28, 2016, in Beverly Hills, California. (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

While Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan is widely expected to win a third term next year, Korski had run an unexpectedly strong campaign and had been considered the preferred candidate among many senior Conservative Party figures to secure the nomination. Whether his campaign will now make it to the Conservative Party’s ballot in July, when the candidate will be selected, is uncertain. Jewish member of parliament Robert Halfon, who is a minister for education and one of Korski’s backers, has already said that he is “pausing” his support for Korski.

Children and families minister Claire Coutinho told Sky News she was also holding her backing for Korsski.

“If there is a complaint in the system, it needs to be followed up swiftly so we can find the facts and see what’s happened, but I do think it’s a very serious and concerning allegation,” Coutinho said.

Goodwin, who had previously spoken out about the alleged assault six years ago without naming Korski, wrote in The Times that he had “stepped towards me and suddenly put his hand on my breast.”

Goodwin wrote that she had opted to name Korski now because he is “running to be the Tory candidate for mayor of London.”

“If there are other women who have had similar experiences with him, I hope that this article will encourage them to come forward,” she wrote. “Because if this is a pattern of behavior then the people of London deserve to know.”

Korski has previously spoken about his pride in his Jewish identity and has been deeply involved in Jewish community activities. He serves as a vice president of the Jewish Leadership Council — an influential UK umbrella for Jewish charities and organizations — and had also previously served as a trustee of the London Jewish Museum until stepping down to concentrate on his campaign. The Jewish Leadership Council did not respond to a request for comment.

Korski, who was born in Denmark to Polish Jews, emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1997. His family had fled Poland in the 1960s during a wave of Jewish emigration triggered by an antisemitic campaign pushed by factions within the-then ruling Polish Communist Party.

Korski has written and spoken publicly about how his grandfather, who survived the Holocaust by pretending to be a Polish Catholic and adopting “the more convincingly Polish” surname Korski (changing it from Finkel), emigrated along with thousands of other Polish Jews.

The Conservative Party said that it will not investigate the allegations against Korski, saying that while it has a “code of conduct and formal processes” for investigating complaints, it “does not conduct investigations where the party would not be considered to have primary jurisdiction over another authority.” Korski was formally employed by the UK government at the time of the alleged assault.

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