Nicola Sturgeon admits she was aware of concerns over SNP MP before formal complaint of sexual harassment

Follows claims the First Minister was told in 2018

Kate Devlin
Whitehall Editor
Monday 15 March 2021 15:49
Nicola Sturgeon relaxes lockdown restrictions in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has admitted she was aware of concerns about her party’s chief whip at Westminster before a formal complaint of sexual harassment was made against him.

Patrick Grady, the MP for Glasgow North, has been accused of groping two male researchers at an SNP Christmas party in 2016.

Reports at the weekend suggested the First Minister of Scotland was told about the allegations by her predecessor Alex Salmond in the same meeting in which he first disclosed details of a sexual harassment investigation against himself.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s televised coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said of Mr Grady: "I would have had an awareness previously of a concern, but not a formal complaint.”

She added: "I’m not going to say more than that because due process requires that an investigation is allowed to take its course."

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The Daily Record newspaper reported that the staff member involved in the allegation also claims a complaint he made to Mr Grady, in his role as chief whip, about allegedly being sexually harassed by a female SNP MP was ignored.

He told the Scottish newspaper: "I went to work the next morning and the very first thing I did was walk to Patrick’s office and I told him about the situation. He acknowledged that and said, ’okay’ and that was the last I ever heard of it."

An SNP spokesman previously confirmed a complaint had been made but said the party would not comment further while an investigation was underway.

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