An SNP MP has been cleared of bullying Nadine Dorries after liking tweets describing her as “grotesque” and a “vacuous goon”.
John Nicholson, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, had appealed against a ruling by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner that his conduct on Twitter had amounted to bullying after a complaint by the former cabinet minister.
An independent panel sided with Nicholson, saying Parliament’s bullying policy “had to be interpreted so as not to preclude vigorous opposition to government, or vigorous defence of government policy and actions. Such is our political system”.
The panel added that the Standards Commissioner had been wrong to ignore Dorries’ own record of tweeting and the fact she had made previous “broad” complaints that had been rejected.