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  1. ITV Report

John Whittingdale: Culture secretary reveals relationship with sex worker

John Whittingdale, the culture secretary. Credit: PA Wire

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has revealed he had a relationship with a sex worker.

He claimed he did not know her real occupation and ended the relationship as soon as he found out when he was approached by a journalist in February 2014.

ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston said the revelations raised questions over Mr Whittingdale's role in regulating the press when he knew that newspapers had been aware of the relationship for some time.

Mr Whittingdale, who was appointed secretary of state for culture, media and sport in May 2015 - insisted it had no impact on any decisions he made.

A Downing Street official told ITV News that Mr Whittingdale's job was not in jeopardy and that he was "entitled to a private life".

In a statement, Mr Whittingdale said:

Between August 2013 and February 2014, I had a relationship with someone who I first met through Match.com.

She was a similar age and lived close to me.

At no time did she give me any indication of of her real occupation and I only discovered this when I was made aware that someone was trying to sell a story about me to tabloid newspapers.

As soon as I discovered, I ended the relationship.

This is an old story which was a bit embarrassing at the time. The events occurred long before I took up my present position and it has never had any influence on the decisions I have made as culture secretary.

– John Whittingdale

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