Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman has revealed how an unnamed national newspaper editor repeatedly propositioned her after she had made it “patently clear that I wasn’t interested”.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph today, also said there was the “odd instance of sexism directed at me” during her time as a political correspondent based in the Westminster lobby.
Describing Westminster as “a male-dominated environment, reminiscent of a public school or an Oxbridge college”, Newman recalled “the peer who sent salacious texts” and “the MP who assumed I was a secretary because I was a woman”.
But the “most glaring instances of sexism”, she added, took place in newspaper offices “or at the hands of newspaper executives”:
When I worked for the Financial Times, I confronted a senior executive about the fact that a man who was significantly junior to me was getting paid a lot more. The executive asked me what I needed the money for, since I didn’t have a mortgage or a family.
I laughed it off and made sure I got a pay rise. Slightly more intimidating was the time, ironically at a political party conference, when a man who was then the editor of a national newspaper started propositioning me in the bar, despite knowing I was in a long-term relationship, and despite my making it patently clear that I wasn’t interested.
I quickly made my excuses and left, as did the women allegedly targeted by Lord Rennard, but the minute I got up to my room, my phone rang. It was the very same editor asking if he could share my room because he had omitted to book himself into a hotel. I gave him short shrift, but the experience was intimidating and unpleasant.