Victim says SNP refusal to sack disgraced 'sex pest' MP is a 'sucker punch'

Patrick Grady has been given a two-day suspension. Credit: PA

The SNP is Westminster’s third biggest party - they could decide the next prime minister in the next election in the event of a hung parliament.

But one of their serving MPs was found to have sexually harassed a junior member of staff.

Patrick Grady was chief whip of the party at the time - his victim just 19 years-old.

“He had his hands on the back of my hair,” the staff member tells me.

“Then the back of my neck, and he was reaching down the back of my shirt.”

Mr Grady has been given a two-day suspension, but the SNP is standing by him.

A leaked audio recording reveals Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, instructed his group to offer support - not to the victim, but the perpetrator.

'Are you happy that a sex pest is sitting beside you on the benches?': Ian Blackford is questioned about the party's response by Peter Smith

Today he doubled down, insisting the process that’s taken place must be respected.

He also says he wants to “make sure the victim is properly supported through this process, and all my efforts are engaged in doing that.”

The victim Mr Blackford says he is supporting still works for the SNP.

He denies he’s been given the support Mr Blackford refers to and calls on both Mr Grady and Mr Blackford to resign or be sacked.

“For the SNP keeping [Patrick Grady] on the benches feels like a sucker punch,” he says.

The SNP is now promising to review its process for handling complaints.

They also must address concerns their handling of this will deter others from speaking out against powerful politicians.