SNP Westminster chief Ian Blackford has been urged to give up after a secret recording confirmed him providing “absolute full support” to a intercourse pest colleague.
He spoke up for shamed Patrick Grady, who was discovered to have made undesirable sexual advances to a 19 12 months outdated.
Labour MSP Neil Bibby stated: “There is no place in politics for men who turn a blind eye to abuse because it has been perpetrated by a friend.
“Mr Blackford is chief of the UK’s third occasion and shut ally of the First Minister, he should stand apart.”
Westminster authorities final week dominated that Grady, the SNP MP for Glasgow North, had touched and stroked his sufferer’s hair, again and neck in a London pub in 2016.
Grady, who was the SNP Chief Whip, apologised and was suspended from the Commons for 48 hours – a sanction blasted by the sufferer.
The man later informed the Record that solely certainly one of 45 SNP MPs had been in contact with after him after the sexual misconduct ruling.
The Daily Mail and the Sun over the weekend reported particulars of an SNP group assembly that mentioned the Grady case.
The occasion additionally agreed to a suspension that may expire on the finish of the Commons ban.
Blackford will be heard saying on the audio: “He’s [Grady] going to face a number of challenges over the short term and so he should have our absolute full support.
“I for one very much look forward to welcoming Patrick back into the group next week. I am sure that everybody here will agree.”
Amy Callaghan, the occasion’s pensions spokesman, informed her fellow MPs: “We should be rallying together around him to support him at this time.”
These feedback have been met with a shout of “hear, hear” and loud clapping.
Our entrance web page unique in March final 12 months informed of how a younger SNP staffer at Westminster had made complaints of sexual harassment towards two MPs.
He alleged that one MP, later revealed to be the then chief whip Patrick Grady, had touched him inappropriately as a 19 12 months outdated in London’s Water Poet bar in 2016.
He additionally alleged one other MP had pestered him in Westminster’s Strangers’ Bar in January 2020.
Patricia Gibson, who represents North Ayrshire and Arran, is the MP on the centre of the latter claims, which she denies. She continues to serve on SNP Westminster chief Ian Blackford’s entrance bench.
The staffer had informed us of the Grady incident: “I was sitting on a couch speaking with colleagues and he perched himself on the side of the couch.
“At that point, he started putting his fingers down the back of my collar, touching me inappropriately there. He was also grabbing my hair.”
The story despatched shockwaves round Westminster and led to Grady, who represents Glasgow North East, stepping apart as chief whip.
The staffer made complaints by Westminster’s unbiased complaints and grievance scheme.
The audio enraged the sufferer and fuelled requires Blackford to go.
Bibby stated: “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.
“That they’re now celebrating that Patrick Grady will escape with only a slap on the wrist is beneath contempt.
“Victims must know that if they speak out against the powerful in politics they will see justice done – that has not happened in this case.
“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.”
“Patrick Grady should do the only honourable thing and resign his seat immediately.”
Scottish Tory MSP Meghan Gallacher stated: “Ian Blackford cannot remain as leader of the SNP at Westminster.
“Patrick Grady’s unacceptable misconduct involving a teenage SNP staffer amounted to an enormous breach of belief.
“Ever since this criticism was first raised the SNP have been evasive and sought to comb it underneath the carpet.
“Then, Blackford and his colleagues were shamefully mealy-mouthed in condemning Patrick Grady when the brave victim was vindicated this week.
“Now we all know why. There was an orchestrated marketing campaign from the very high of the SNP to again Patrick Grady – fairly than help the younger sufferer.
“Grady should have been properly censured by the SNP. Ian Blackford should resign for his appalling lack of judgement; and, if not, Nicola Sturgeon should sack him.”
Blackford has additionally been criticised for being a part of an try and resolve the Grady scandal informally a couple of years in the past.
The sufferer informed the Record he was referred to as into Blackford’s room at Westminster, the place he discovered Grady sobbing. The man described the assembly as an “ambush”.
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