Blackford says lessons will be learned after MP’s ‘inappropriate’ behaviour

The SNP has promised an external review will be held to look at the support available to staff after an employee claimed he had endured a “living hell” after making a complaint about the behaviour of MP Patrick Grady.

The Glasgow North MP was found by an independent investigation to have behaved inappropriately towards the male party worker at a function and was suspended from Parliament for two days.

But the handling of the complaint has drawn criticism, most notably from the victim himself, who has said he is now considering legal action.

Speaking for the first time about the matter, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said he was “determined that staff have the support they need” as he promised an external review would be carried out.

Glasgow North MP Patrick Grady found by an independent investigation tohave behaved inappropriately towards a member of staff. (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

His comments come after audio was leaked of a party meeting where Mr Blackford said he was “very much looking forward to welcoming Patrick back into the group” and encouraged fellow MPs to give him “as much support as possible”.

The complainer however said he feared he would not be “well received” at work, as he added he was considering his options.

“If that includes legal action, then so be it,” he added.

We will consider all lessons that must be learned to make sure staff have full confidence they will receive the support they need.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford

In a statement released on Tuesday evening, Mr Blackford said: “As SNP Westminster leader, I have a duty of care to all of our staff.

“That is why I deeply regret that a member of staff was subject to inappropriate behaviour. It was completely unacceptable and should never have happened. I am sorry that it did.”

He added: “Staff must have full confidence that the group takes complaints seriously.

“In this case, the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme investigated what happened. We respect and accept that independent process.”

Mr Blackford continued: “More than that, however, staff have a right to feel fully supported when a complaint is made. I regret that the complainant does not feel that this is the case.

“The way that this situation has played out publicly over the last few days, including recordings from the parliamentary group, has caused distress to the complainant amongst others and I am sorry that is the case.”

He stated: “We will consider all lessons that must be learned to make sure staff have full confidence they will receive the support they need.

“As such, I am initiating an external review of support available to staff, to sit alongside the independent advice service and independent complaints process.

“Raising complaints of this nature is never easy, and I am determined that staff have the support they need.”

Mr Grady has already said he was “profoundly sorry” for his behaviour after being found to have breached Parliament’s sexual misconduct policy.

His comments came after an report into his conduct said he “made an unwanted sexual advance to the complainant that included the touching and stroking of the complainant’s neck, hair, and back”.

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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