SNP MP Patrick Grady faces Commons suspension for sexual misconduct

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Media caption,

The SNP MP apologises after a report says he should be suspended from Parliament for two days for breaching policies.

An independent panel has recommended an SNP MP be suspended from Parliament for two days over a sexual advance to a member of the party’s staff.

Patrick Grady was found to have touched and stroked the neck, hair and back of a colleague 17 years his junior at a social event in a pub in 2016.

The SNP former chief whip admitted his behaviour and apologised “without reservation” in the House of Commons.

The BBC has been told that Mr Grady has been suspended from his party.

The Glasgow North MP’s suspension from the SNP is expected to last until his suspension from Parliament has been completed.

“I am profoundly sorry for my behaviour and I deeply regret my actions and their consequences,” Mr Grady told the Commons, giving a “firm undertaking that such behaviour on my part will never happen again”.

He also said he had undergone “bespoke and generic training” to improve his conduct since the incident.

In its report, the Independent Expert Panel, which recommends punishments for MPs over bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct, wrote: “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 noted that Mr Grady had shown “genuine remorse” and made “efforts to address his behaviour”, but recommended that he “be suspended for two sitting days, make a public apology in the House of Commons, and a private one to the complainant”.

The panel was responding to a report by Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone, who found that Mr Grady had remained at a SNP work social event on 20 October 2016 after his fellow MPs had left.

Under the influence of alcohol, he made an “unwanted sexual advance to the complainant that included the touching and stroking of the complainant’s neck, hair, and back”, she said.

Mr Grady stepped aside as SNP chief whip last year amid claims over his behaviour.

Party leader Nicola Sturgeon said that she had previously been aware of “a concern”, but not of any “formal complaint” being made.

A spokesperson for the SNP Westminster parliamentary group said it accepted the recommended actions from the Independent Expert Panel.

“We welcome Mr Grady’s apology and note that he previously apologised for this incident when the matter was dealt with informally in 2018,” the spokesperson said.