Former SNP chief whip suspended from party over sexual misconduct

Patrick Grady was found to have made an 'unwanted sexual advance' towards the teenager at a social gathering in 2016.

Former SNP chief whip Patrick Grady suspended from party and Commons over sexual misconduct Parliament UK

The SNP’s former chief whip has been suspended from the House of Commons and the party’s Westminster group over sexual misconduct towards a teenage worker in a pub.

An independent parliamentary watchdog found Patrick Grady made an “unwanted sexual advance” towards the then-19-year-old in London in 2016.

The Independent Expert Panel For Sexual Misconduct found Grady, who represents Glasgow North, touched and stroked the man’s neck, hair and back in a bid to “initiate a relationship”.

It was recommended he be suspended for “two sitting days, neither of which should be a Friday” which has now been accepted by the party.

Grady will also remain barred from the group until after his suspension has been served.

The panel added the incident was “exacerbated by the fact that the context was public, and drink had been taken, determining the incident was “clearly sexual in intent and manner, and clearly inappropriate”.

However, the report noted he “desisted” when it became apparent “his conduct was not welcome”.

Grady underwent training mandated by the SNP as well as “valuing others” training offered by the House of Commons, but the complainant said he felt “intimidated” into accepting an apology by the MP when he met with him and group leader Ian Blackford in his office.

In a statement to the panel, Grady accepted the findings of the report, adding: “I deeply regret my behaviour, and am very sorry for the distress and upset it has caused the complainant.”

The watchdog also recommended he make an unreserved apology to the House by way of a personal statement, and also make a private written apology to the complainant.

A spokesperson for the SNP Westminster parliamentary group said: “The Group accepts the recommended actions from the Independent Expert Panel.

“Mr Grady has admitted a breach of standards in his behaviour during a social event in 2016. We welcome Mr Grady’s apology and note that he previously apologised for this incident when the matter was dealt with informally in 2018.

“As the report states, Mr Grady undertook relevant training at the instigation of the party.”

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