An SNP MP has apologised for calling on her party to “rally together around” disgraced MP Patrick Grady, adding to the pressure on the party’s leader in Westminster, Ian Blackford, to resign.
Grady, the party’s former chief whip, was last week found guilty by an independent expert panel of caressing a 19-year-old staffer in 2016.
However, during a meeting of SNP MPs, Amy Callaghan, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, urged them to support him: “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.”
She added: “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.”
In a statement, Callaghan said her comments had been “insensitive, poorly worded and misplaced”. She has since written to Owen Thompson, the party’s chief whip, asking for a “full root and branch review” of the party’s internal misconduct processes.
During the same conclave, Blackford, the party’s leader in Westminster, said of Grady: “He’s 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.”
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This is despite the party’s “Polices and Processes on Sexual Harassment” guide, available on parliament.uk, stating that “any complaints of bullying or harassment on the part of Members or staff will be taken seriously”.
As Nicola Sturgeon hatches a hare-brained “legal wheeze” to call a second independence referendum by the backdoor, her party is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.