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by Joseph Anderson
23 June 2022
SNP accused of 'support for the perpetrator, not the victim' in Patrick Grady scandal

SNP accused of 'support for the perpetrator, not the victim' in Patrick Grady scandal

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of “support for the perpetrator, not support for the victim”, as her party came under fire for its response to the Patrick Grady sexual harassment scandal.

At First Minister’s Questions, Sturgeon was criticised by Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross for suspending Grady, an SNP MP who made unwanted sexual advances towards a member of staff, for only two days.

Sturgeon said: “Patrick Grady’s behaviour was wrong. I have said this before, again I will repeat it. I am very sorry that a member of the SNP Westminster group staff was subjected to an unwanted sexual advance. It shouldn’t have happened.

“Patrick Grady’s behaviour was investigated by an independent process, a process which all parties have signed up to. The findings of that independent process was of course published, as is right and proper, and a sanction was imposed – a sanction that was advised by that independent process.”

Sturgeon was also asked about a covert recording that was leaked to the press, of a meeting where the SNP group at Westminster pledged its support to shamed MP Grady.

Sturgeon said: “The recording of the Westminster meeting reveals part of what I felt was wrong with that case. Indeed, some of the individuals who were recorded at that meeting have already said that themselves.

“What I have heard is that more concern was shown for the perpetrator rather than the victim. That is utterly unacceptable.”

Speaking after First Minister’s Questions, outside of the Scottish Parliament’s debating chamber, Sturgeon said: “I never want to be standing here answering questions on stuff like this, I really don’t, I’ve perhaps had to do it too often. But as I said in the chamber there, it is not something that is unique to the SNP, but it is my responsibility when it is the SNP.

“This is something that all organisations have faced including all political parties. For my part, it’s important we put things right when they need to be put right.”

Commenting, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “Last week, an investigation in the UK Parliament was made public and it concluded that a senior SNP MP was guilty of making an unwanted sexual advance to a teenage member of staff.

“Over a month ago I asked the First Minster to make public the outcome of investigations against ministers in her own government. She refused - instead claiming that it couldn’t be revealed due to GDPR. 

“A pattern has emerged when it comes to the SNP - close ranks, do a little as you can and hope the difficult questions go away.”

Read the most recent article written by Joseph Anderson - Section 30 orders: what are they, and can a referendum be held without one?

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