SNP’s John Nicolson cleared of bullying Nadine Dorries

Senior SNP MP had liked tweets calling former culture secretary ‘horrible’ and ‘thick’

Adam Forrest
Wednesday 29 March 2023 11:29 BST
Related: Nadine Dorries claims Channel 4 faked reality show by paying actors

A senior SNP MP has been cleared of bullying the former Tory minister Nadine Dorries after a six-month investigation by the parliamentary authorities.

John Nicolson is understood to have been investigated over a series of tweets about the former culture secretary by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).

The SNP’s culture spokesman had liked tweets by others describing Ms Dorries as a “horrible disgusting woman,” a “mendacious, vacuous Tory goon,” and “thick as two short planks”.

But Mr Nicolson was cleared of any misconduct by the ICGS, according to Politico, the first known case of an MP making a formal complaint of cyberbullying about a Commons colleague.

The top SNP figure and the Boris Johnson loyalist has clashed in a bitter exchange in a select committee hearing in November 2021 – in which Ms Dorries was asked about calling LBC Radio presenter James O’Brien a “public school posh boy f***wit”.

After the session, Mr Nicolson is said to have criticised the then-culture secretary and liked a series of tweets by others attacking Ms Dorries.

A Commons spokesperson said: “Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) operates on the basis of confidentiality for the benefit of all parties.

“Therefore, we cannot provide any information on any complaint, including whether or not a complaint has been received.”

Separately, the SNP MP caused a row by criticising Speaker Sir Linday Hoyle for refusing to refer Ms Dorries to the privileges committee over claims she had made misleading remarks on a Channel 4 programme.

Mr Nicolson was angered by Ms Dorries’ claims that elements of a Channel 4 documentary she had taken part in – Tower Block of Commons – had been faked by actors.

Sir Lindsay rebuked Mr Nicolson after he shared the Speaker’s correspondence on the matter on Twitter.

After Mr Nicolson – subject to a privileges committee probe over the row – asked for guidance, Sir Lindsay said he didn’t think it was a “very good” apology.

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