Patrick Grady MP faces 2-day suspension after being found guilty of sexual misconduct against 19-year-old staffer
SNPPatrick Grady was found guilty on Tuesday of sexual misconductby an independent panel.
- It found Grady stroked a 19-year-old man at a pub in "an unwanted sexual advance."
An SNP MP was been found guilty of "unwanted physical touching" of a junior member of his staff, and was given the punishment of a two-day suspension from the House of Commons.
Patrick Grady, the MP for Glasgow North and party's former chief whip, was accused of inappropriately touching 19-year-old man in a London pub in 2016. Grady is 42.
Parliament's independent expert panel upheld the complaint, made to Parliament's Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS), saying there had been a "significant breach" of sexual misconduct policy.
"The Commissioner concluded that in 2016 at a work social event in a pub Mr Grady made an unwanted sexual advance to the complainant that included the touching and stroking of the complainant's neck, hair, and back," the report said. "Mr Grady did not appeal the decision."
There was "no intimate touching, but this was nevertheless clearly sexual in intent and manner, and clearly inappropriate. This factor was exacerbated by the fact that the context was public, and drink had been taken," the report added.
Eight other allegations were not upheld.
The panel noted that while relationships between MPs and staff are not banned "great disparities of status and power exist."
It said: "Where a considerable disparity of age and experience is added into the mix, it will be highly problematic to initiate a sexual relationship without the risk that there is no true mutuality."
It concluded that: "An unwanted physical touching, with sexual intent, from a senior MP to a junior member of staff, even on a single occasion, is a significant breach of the policy. It must be marked by some period of suspension from the House."
Grady was asked to make a public apology in the House of Commons, as well as a private one to the complainant.
The panel said it took into account his "genuine remorse", and was critical of the complainant for having "breached confidentiality repeatedly" as part of "a deliberate attempt to publicly discredit" the MP. For these reasons, it said, the advised suspension period would be "somewhat shorter than it might have been".
In a statement published in the report, Grady said: "I accept the findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in full and without reservation. I accept that my behaviour as described in Allegation 1 amounts to a breach of the Sexual Misconduct Policy for the UK Parliament, and I apologise for this without reservation.
"I deeply regret my behaviour, and am very sorry for the distress and upset it has caused the complainant."
Insider approached the SNP for comment but had not heard back at the time of publication.
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