Nicola Sturgeon denies knowing if SNP MP sex harassment misconduct upheld – two weeks after probe findings reported
The Sunday Times Scotland revealed a fortnight ago that a Commons watchdog had upheld separate complaints against ex SNP chief whip Patrick Grady and current Nats frontbencher Patricia Gibson.
The outcome has not officially been made public, with the two MPs said to have been asked to respond to the findings of independent investigations.
And asked about the Grady issue by Sky’s Sophy Ridge, Ms Sturgeon denied knowing the complaint outcome.
Ms Ridge asked Ms Sturgeon: “Can you confirm whether or not the IGCS Commons watchdog has upheld a complaint of sexual harassment about Patrick Grady?”
Ms Sturgeon replied: “I don’t know. I’ve seen what has been reported.
“As I understand it, the process is underway. I have not seen any findings and I’m not trying to dodge this – it’s important that the process is allowed to proceed.
“When I do know, whether the, finally, things have been upheld, I’m happy to come on and talk to you about that.
“And I’m happy to be open about what I think should happen in those circumstances.
“But I don’t know what, if anything has been upheld, and it would therefore be wrong and actually not possible for me to go into detail about that.
“But what I will say is, I think parties cannot simply throw stones when it’s people in other parties who have been found guilty of these things.
“We all have to apply these standards to ourselves and I will not shy away from that. When I do know what the outcome of these processes are.”
The First Minister was quizzed the day after it was reported that Mr Grady had been given a plum speaking role by the SNP after the latest Wetsminster Queen’s Speech set-piece next week.
And she was asked; “If you are someone who has always prided themselves on rooting out sexism, or (is) criticising other parties… should someone not be suspended, or have a whip suspended while investigations are ongoing?”
Ms Sturgeon did not answer the question directly but said: “It’s really important when things conclude in a particular way for parties to take responsibility for that and act appropriately. In this case, though, the process is ongoing.”
MP Mr Grady quit his chief whip role in March 2021 over allegations he groped two male researchers at a 2016 Christmas party.
It was also claimed he “inappropriately” touched an SNP staff member in a London pub.
Housing spokeswoman Ms Gibson was accused of making inappropriate comments to a male staffer in a parly bar in 2020.
The probe outcomes are said to have been referred to an expert panel, which can recommend suspension or expulsion from the Commons.
The SNP will also have to decide whether to take any other disciplinary action of their own.
Mr Grady and Ms Gibson have been asked for comment.