Ian Blackford ‘ambushed’ party staffer in meeting over SNP MP sexual harassment claims

The man detailed two incidents and claimed the complaints were being swept under the carpet by SNP bosses. The staffer claimed the first incident occurred at the Water Poet in Shoreditch in 2016 with a male SNP MP.

Reports say the man, who worked for the party in Westminster, was with colleagues when the nationalist MP “perched himself on the side of the couch” and “started putting his fingers down the back” of the man’s collar.

The complainer said he did not raise a complaint immediately but added it was brought to the attention of SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

The staffer was subsequently called to a meeting.

In the meeting, which was attended by the MP concerned and Mr Blackford, it was alleged the politician was “crying” and he apologised for his actions.

The staffer said he felt the meeting was “an ambush” by Mr Blackford.

A second incident is alleged to have taken place in January 2020 in the Westminster Strangers Bar, a popular haunt for MPs and House of Commons employees, with a female SNP MP.

The party staffer told the Daily Record the female MP concerned was “very, very drunk” in January 2020.

He added: “She was grabbing my hand, pulling me closer and saying to me things like ‘You should come home with me.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross accuses SNP of ‘abuse of power and covering up truth’

“If you wanted to make a complaint of sexual harassment within the parliamentary estate, that can only be investigated and dealt with under the terms of the independent scheme provided by Westminster.”

Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative MSP for Glasgow told Express.co.uk it was “highly concerning” for an SNP employee to make these allegations against two of the party’s MPs.

She added: “It appears that Nicola Sturgeon’s party has yet again failed a victim of alleged sexual misconduct.

“There can be no place in our politics of powerful individuals using their status to sexually target others.

“Her party is engulfed in sleaze and Scotland deserves so much better.

“The only reason this appears to have become public is because of the way in which the SNP have mishandled it.”

But party sources told this publication today that they took “take matters of this nature very seriously and strongly uphold all-party values and policies.

They added the party leadership had been informed of the allegations stressing they had initially looked at and responded to the staffer accordingly.

A party spokesman said: “The individual has been provided information on the appropriate ways to raise a complaint and offers of support.

“That’s why it is essential for everyone involved that due process is followed.

“Advice has been offered on how to make a formal complaint so that a proper investigation can be carried out.”

An SNP spokesman added of the meeting concerning Mr Blackford: “The picture painted of the meeting in Ian Blackford’s office is highly inaccurate.”

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