SNP MP Amy Callaghan sorry for ‘insensitive’ comments at Patrick Grady meeting
An SNP MP has apologised for saying colleagues should “rally together around” Patrick Grady at a meeting of the party’s Westminster group.
Amy Callaghan, who represents East Dunbartonshire, said her comments were “insensitive, poorly worded and misplaced”.
She said: “I’m taking full accountability for the hurt and disappointment I’ve caused, not least of all to those directly impacted by sexual misconduct in this case”.
She also confirmed she had written to Owen Thompson, the party’s chief whip, called for a “full root and branch review” of the party’s internal misconduct processes.
Her colleague Joanna Cherry had earlier called for these procedures to be overhauled.
The apology follows the leaking of a recording of a meeting of the SNP Westminster group in which leader Ian Blackford urged MPs to give their “absolute full support” to Grady.
Callaghan can also be heard in that recording, saying: “We should be rallying together around him [Grady] to support him at this time.”
Grady made an apology in the Commons last week after breaching the parliament’s sexual misconduct policy.
An expert panel found Grady had made an unwanted sexual advance to a teenage member of staff during a 2016 work event.
He was handed a two-day suspension from the Commons.
Both Labour and the Tories have called on Blackford to resign over his handling of the situation.
Speaking to STV earlier, Angus Robertson – who was leader of the SNP Westminster group at the time complaints first surfaced against Grady in 2016 – defended the party’s position.
He said: “If you’re going to have independent processes to look at them and to work out what penalties should be paid, then one should respect those.
"That’s exactly what’s happening and Ian Blackford is right to recognise that, but at the same time say when somebody has paid the price that they’ve been told that they have to pay, people have to have a future beyond that.”