AN MP has slammed an advertising website as "utter lowlife" after an Argus investigation revealed a "sex for rent" advert targeting women made vulnerable by the pandemic.

Hove and Portslade MP Peter Kyle said Craigslist bosses make his "blood boil" as they make money by "peddling misery".

Calling the company "utterly amoral" he has called for proper enforcement of the Sexual Offences Act and specific offences created to cover "sex for rent".

It comes after The Argus launched an investigation into an advert targeting women who had lost their jobs due to the “scamdemic”.

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The man, who said he was aged 42 and called himself Gary, then posted saying he wanted someone to move into his family home in Worthing and have sex with him on a "regular basis”.

The Argus: The Argus confronted the man after going undercover The Argus confronted the man after going undercover

The details of the advert describe the arrangement, which included becoming a '"sex partner/girlfriend” to live with him and his wife, 37, while they “raise kids in Islam”.

Craigslist has long been accused of allowing landlords to exploit vulnerable tenants, by offering free rent in exchange for sex.

The website provides local classified ads and forums for jobs, housing and services.

Last year, the Californian company confirmed it used "custom-built filters" to screen posts using words like "sex".

But an investigation by The Times found Scottish adverts offering free rent "arrangements" while using words like "fun" or "favours".

Mr Kyle said the company needs to be held accountable and said: "Craigslist is facilitating and profiting from the sexual exploitation of British citizens and they are acting with complete impunity.

"The website that almost all of these adverts appear on needs to be held to account.

"Because this is happening online, suddenly they are treated differently. I don't understand why they are treated differently.

"If people act like pimps, they should be treated like pimps."

The Labour MP has spent years fighting for the Sexual Offences act to be amended to cover "sex for rent".

In 2019, the Crown Prosecution Service issued revised guidance to assist police and prosecutors considering sex-for-rent allegations.

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It is an offence under Section 52 if a person "intentionally causes or incites another person to become a prostitute in any part of the world, and does so for or in the expectation of gain for himself or third party."

It is also an offence under section 53 of the Sexual Offences Act if a person is committing an offence if they "intentionally control any of the activities of another person relating to that person’s prostitution in any part of the world and does so for or in the expectation of gain for himself or a third party."

Gain can be "any financial advantage including the discharge of an obligation to pay or the provision of goods or services (including sexual services)".

Last month, the first known sex for rent case of its kind to appear in court was heard at Staines Magistrates' Court.

Christopher Cox, 52, is alleged to have posted adverts on Craigslist looking for young or homeless women to stay with him at his home in Cranleigh, Surrey.

He allegedly asked them to provide sexual favours in return for a room.

He is due to appear at Guildford Crown Court later this month.

Mr Kyle says that victims are discouraged from coming forward because the wording of a section 52 offence labels them as a prostitute.

"That is a huge disincentive to victims coming forward," he added.