‘Sex pest’ SNP MP quits party amid police probe


‘Sex pest’ SNP MP quits party amid police probe: Patrick Grady faces claims he ‘touched and stroked junior member of staff’s neck, hair and back’

  • ‘Sex pest’ MP Patrick Grady has resigned from the Scottish National Party
  • Mr Grady, now 42, will now sit as an independent for Glasgow North 
  • He was suspended from Westminster for two days over sex misconduct
  • Scotland Yard is investigating allegations of harassment at London pub 

‘Sex pest’ SNP MP Patrick Grady has resigned his party membership amid a police investigation into sexual harassment allegations. 

Nicola Sturgeon‘s party said that Mr Grady will no longer be an SNP MP for Glasgow North, and will now sit as an independent.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that it is investigating an incident which took place at a London pub in 2016.

A parliamentary probe saw Mr Grady suspended from Westminster for two days after he was found to have acted inappropriately towards a male SNP staff member.

Mr Grady, the SNP’s former chief whip, made an unwanted sexual advance towards a 19-year-old male member of staff. The Glasgow North MP, now 42, was found to have touched and stroked the neck, hair and back of the teenager at a pub in the UK capital six years ago.

He was found guilty by a Westminster watchdog of a ‘significant breach’ of Parliament’s sexual misconduct policy, and said he was ‘profoundly sorry’ after the panel’s investigation.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford urged Mr Grady to consider his position after criticism of the party’s handling of the complaint.

That came after Mr Blackford was heard in a leaked recording to tell SNP MPs to rally round Mr Grady, saying he looked forward to ‘welcoming Patrick back’ following his two-day suspension.

Patrick Grady at PMQs in Parliament in London on January 29, 2020

Patrick Grady at PMQs in Parliament in London on January 29, 2020 

Mr Grady pictured with Nicola Sturgeon on election night in December 2019

Mr Grady pictured with Nicola Sturgeon on election night in December 2019

In a statement posted on Twitter, Amy Callaghan MP apologised after Ian Blackford was heard in a leaked recording to tell SNP MPs to rally round Mr Grady

In a statement posted on Twitter, Amy Callaghan MP apologised after Ian Blackford was heard in a leaked recording to tell SNP MPs to rally round Mr Grady

Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy MSP said: ‘Patrick Grady should have been sacked long before this but the SNP have shown they have absolutely no backbone and would rather back the perpetrator over the victim.

‘The abuser is gone but the poison remains in the SNP and the party leadership should be ashamed of the way they have handled this scandal.

‘It’s appalling that Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford are still treating a disgraced MP with more sympathy than the victim who suffered sexual harassment.

‘Bullying Blackford must now face the repercussions he deserves and be sacked so victims have confidence that they’ll be taken seriously in the future.’

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson confirmed inquiries are ongoing.

He added: ‘On Wednesday June 22, police received an allegation of sexual assault that is said to have taken place in October 2016 at a commercial premises in Folgate Street, E1.

‘The report was submitted online by a third party. Officers will now be making inquiries, including contacting the alleged victim, in order to assess what further action is required.’

An SNP spokesman said: ‘Patrick Grady is stepping away from his party membership while the police inquiry continues.’

Ms Sturgeon’s SNP is embroiled in a furious political and legal row over attempts by the party to rally round the sex pest MP.

The party’s leader in Westminster, Mr Blackford, has faced demands to quit after a leaked recording caught him urging party politicians to support the former chief whip.

But the SNP has instead threatened its own MPs with legal action over the leak of the tape to the Daily Mail, which came after Mr Blackford promised Mr Grady’s victim he would show a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude to abuse.

Mr Grady made an unwanted sexual advance towards a 19-year-old male member of staff. The Glasgow North MP, now 42, was found to have touched and stroked the neck, hair and back of the teenager at a pub in the UK capital six years ago. He was found guilty by a Westminster watchdog of a 'significant breach' of Parliament's sexual misconduct policy

Mr Grady made an unwanted sexual advance towards a 19-year-old male member of staff. The Glasgow North MP, now 42, was found to have touched and stroked the neck, hair and back of the teenager at a pub in the UK capital six years ago. He was found guilty by a Westminster watchdog of a ‘significant breach’ of Parliament’s sexual misconduct policy

Amy Callaghan, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, revealed she had been 'searingly reflective' as she issued a 'wholehearted apology'

Amy Callaghan, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, revealed she had been ‘searingly reflective’ as she issued a ‘wholehearted apology’

Amy Callaghan, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, revealed she had been ‘searingly reflective’ as she issued a ‘wholehearted apology’.

In the leaked recording, obtained by the Daily Mail, Ms Callaghan was heard telling a gathering of SNP MPs: ‘Regardless of our position on Patrick’s situation, we should be rallying together around him to support him at this time as well.’

Mr Blackford could also be heard asking MPs to ‘deliver as much support as possible’ to Mr Grady.

‘He’s going to face a number of challenges over the short term and so he should have our absolute full support,’ he said. ‘I for one very much look forward to welcoming Patrick back into the group next week. I am sure that everybody here will agree.’

Mr Blackford previously promised Mr Grady’s victim he would show a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude to abuse.

It has been revealed how the SNP threatened its own MPs with legal action over the leak of the tape to the Daily Mail.

According to the Times, the current SNP chief whip Owen Thompson told MPs in a late-night email that parliamentary security had been informed of the leak from a private meeting.

Opposition parties have demanded that Mr Blackford either resign or be sacked by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon as the crisis over Mr Grady engulfs the party’s top ranks.

Scottish Labour’s Neil Bibby said: ‘The only investigation the SNP should be launching is into their own failures to protect staff in this tawdry case. That SNP MPs stood and applauded one of their colleagues after he admitted abusing his position to take sexual advantage of a staff member is disgusting.

‘From the start, the SNP have behaved in a way that is disgraceful – closing ranks and intimidating people who tried to bring this story to light. There are serious questions for the SNP about whether Patrick Grady is being treated so lamely compared to others because of his closeness to the SNP establishment.’

And Scottish Tory MP John Lamont added: ‘Ian Blackford must break his silence and explain why he has taken no action to prevent sexual harassment in the SNP Westminster Group.

‘Instead of acting as we requested more than a year ago, he has treated a disgraced MP with more sympathy than the victim who suffered harassment.’

Source

Related posts