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The founder of a sex party club has defended taking a £170,000 Covid-19 business loan from the Treasury after a Labour MP called for the support to be axed.

Killing Kittens is billed as a female-led sex tech firm that empowers women. Launched in 2005, it has 180,000 members across 12 countries.

Having previously hosted events such as masked balls, it is now aiming to run an online platform working as a “cross between Facebook and Bumble”, with women initiating contact.

Founder Emma Sayle was granted the government loan earlier this week through the Future Fund – an initiative launched to help young businesses flourish mid-pandemic.

Ms Sayle has said she will use the funding to grow the online aspect of her business while mass gatherings are banned.

Sarah Champion is a former shadow women and equalities secretary (PA)

But Labour MP and former shadow minister for women and equalities Sarah Champion earlier this week called on chancellor Rishi Sunak to “take steps to stop payments” to the company.

Ms Sayle has reacted by claiming that if Ms Champion “had really done her research and knew what we were about” she would not have made the suggestion.

She said: “Had it been a 60-year-old male MP, I’d have expected it, because that’s the kind of trolling I have had on social media for 15 years.

“I didn’t expect it from someone who claims to champion women’s rights.”

Killing Kittens will host advertising from sex toy and other retailers usually prohibited on social media and mainstream websites.

The Government matched the £170,000 Ms Sayle raised through Crowdfunding platform Seedrs, and could end up owning up to 1.47 per cent of the tech company.

Seedrs has said it “passes no moral judgement” on the nature of the business. The government money will only be used to aid online expansion during the pandemic, and will not be used to fund sex parties.

Ms Sayle has, however, quipped to CNN: “I never envisaged Boris as a sleeping partner.”

The Standard has contacted Ms Champion for comment.