Britain asks Schwarzenegger to close prostitute web site
LONDON (Reuters) - A British government minister asked California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday to shut down a U.S. website that allows men to rate prostitutes, including many working in London.
Harriet Harman, minister for women and equality, told the ruling Labor Party's annual conference that "Punternet" fuels the demand for prostitution -- a vice she said degrades women and puts them at risk.
She said the web site was a "very sinister development" in the trade and exploitation of women and allows guests to compare and rate services in the same way as they would a restaurant, a hotel or a holiday.
Pimps put women on sale for sex on the site then clients offered their comments on line, she said.
"Punternet has pages and pages of women for sale in London," said Harman, who is deputy leader of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labor Party.
She said she had raised the issue with the U.S. ambassador to Britain and asked California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to close it down as it is based in that state.
"Surely it can't be too difficult for 'The Terminator' to terminate Punternet and that's what I am demanding that he does."
The Punternet site describes itself as "The Online Community for Patrons and Providers of Adult Personal Services in the UK" and says it was "created to facilitate the exchange of information on prostitution in the UK."
A U.S. Embassy spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. Continued...