Amy Callaghan 'truly sorry' after leaked remarks about Patrick Grady

The SNP MP said the complainant had been let down 'by my words and by my party'.

Amy Callaghan ‘truly sorry’ after leaked remarks about Patrick Grady UK Parliament TV

An SNP MP has said she is “truly sorry” after she appeared to voice her support for a colleague who was suspended from Parliament for sexual misconduct.

Amy Callaghan, who represents East Dunbartonshire, was heard on a leaked recording supposedly of a meeting of the SNP’s Westminster group last week.

It comes after Patrick Grady, the SNP MP for Glasgow North, was suspended for two days after being found to have made an unwanted sexual advance towards a 19-year-old staffer in 2016.

In the clip, Callaghan can be heard urging her fellow MPs to reach out to Grady.

She said: “I think we should be rallying together for this campaign but also regardless of our position on Patrick’s situation, we should be rallying together around him to support him at this time as well.

“I don’t think we are very good as a party at supporting each other and I think we should be making sure that he feels supported at this point.

“So if we can all reach out to him, or do so if you feel able to, we should probably be doing that.”

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has faced calls to resign after being heard telling MPs of the need to give Grady their “absolute full support”.

In the clip, he responds to Callaghan: “I really appreciate that and both of you know how I feel about Patrick.

“And I would encourage the group to deliver as much support as possible.

“Let’s look forward to next week, he is going to face challenges and needs our absolute full support.

“And I for one am very much looking forward to welcoming Patrick back into the group next week.”

In a statement released on Monday, Callaghan has now said that she takes “full accountability” for the “hurt and disappointment I’ve caused”.

“This can and should only start with a wholehearted apology to anyone – especially survivors of harassment – who has been hurt or triggered as a result of this week,” she wrote.

“I have been searingly reflective and honest with myself. Whilst I can’t forgive myself for how inappropriate it was for me to frame my input in this way, I owe everyone, not least survivors and my constituents, an explanation.”

She continued: “I am both sorry and, ultimately, take full responsibility for my words, as insensitive, poorly worded and misplaced as they were.

“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.

“Survivors must be supported. I should always have prefaced my comments and reiterated this throughout my contribution. I believed I was in a situation where my support of survivors was implied.

“I was wrong. This isn’t good enough.

“My comments without this context absolutely warrant the upset they have caused. I am truly sorry.”

The SNP MP admitted that she “got it wrong”, as she insisted that zero tolerance “can’t be a slogan” and must be real.

She wrote: “As a party, we are, clearly, falling short in supporting complainants . There must be structures of support in place – first, foremost and without equivocation – for survivors of harassment.

“Zero tolerance can’t be a slogan, it has to be real. I have today written to our chief whip to request a full root and branch review, commissioned by an independent external organisation, of our internal misconduct and harassment structures.

“On the substantive point I tried and failed to make, I got it wrong. On a basic, human level, I was trying to ensure mental health, counselling or rehabilitative support for a colleague from our group, to prevent unacceptable incidences like this from happening again.

“I can see now how hollow and inappropriate a request that was if that same offer of support was not also given to the complainant. This should have been clearer.”

She added: “I cannot condone the way this was presented on my part. This was wrong, insensitive, and I am deeply sorry.”

Callaghan said that the complainant has been let down by “my words and by my party”.

She concluded: “I am hugely saddened that I have let myself down in; this way. Whilst easy to say – and clearly harder to believe at this time – this isn’t reflective of who I am as a person.

“There is a complainant who has been let down this week by my words and by my party. There is no moral high ground of false equivalence when it comes to misconduct.

“We must do better, myself included.”

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