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Hospital to return cash from charity dinner over sex abuse claims

A 2014 file photo shows the Dorchester Hotel in London.

AP

LONDON -- A renowned British children's hospital said Wednesday it will return donations from a U.K. charity involved in allegations that women were groped at a fundraising gala attended by hundreds of senior executives and lawmakers.

The men-only event at London's Dorchester Hotel, which was held to raise money for charities, featured some 100 female hostesses, including two undercover Financial Times reporters. The journalists described harassment, lewd comments and "repeated requests to join diners in bedrooms."

The Great Ormond Street Hospital said it was shocked to learn of the behavior at the Presidents Club dinner and that it wouldn't knowingly accept donations raised this way.

The hospital said it was never supposed to receive money from the dinner but that it will return previous donations and "no longer accept gifts from the Presidents Club Charitable Trust."

Senior women in Britain's Parliament have demanded tougher laws against harassment after the Financial Times investigation uncovered the alleged abuse. 

The event featured auction prizes of tea with Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney and lunch with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Equalities committee chair Maria Miller tweeted that she hoped "every man who attended this event will think twice before accepting another invitation to a 'men only' event with more than 100 female hostesses."