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MP faces two-day Commons suspension over sexual misconduct claim

SNP MP Patrick Grady is facing suspension from the House of Commons after an allegation of sexual misconduct was upheld by a parliamentary probe.

The independent expert panel recommended that Mr Grady should be suspended from the House for two days for making an “unwanted sexual advance” to a member of party staff at a work social event in a pub in 2016.

Mr Grady was also ordered to make a public apology in the chamber and to say sorry privately to the person who complained.

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However the length of the suspension was shortened because, the panel said, the complainant “breached confidentiality repeatedly” in an attempt to discredit Mr Grady leading to “intrusive press activities and abuse on social media”.

An investigation by Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, upheld a claim that Mr Grady had made an unwanted advance “that included touching and stroking of the complainant’s neck, hair and back”.

The MP did not appeal against the decision.

Mr Grady was found to have breached parliament’s sexual misconduct policy.

The panel considering his sanction concluded: “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.”

It also took into account the MP’s “genuine remorse for his actions, that they were not repeated once rebuffed, and his efforts to address his behaviour since the incident”.

The recommendation for a suspension must be agreed to by the House of Commons.

In a personal statement to the Commons shortly after the findings, Mr Grady said: “Any breach of the behaviour code and associated policies risks bringing this House into disrepute and will cause distress and upset not just to the complaint but to the wider parliamentary community.

“Mr Speaker, I give you and this House my firm assurance that I have learned significant lessons through this process and a firm undertaking that such behaviour on my part will never happen again.”

He apologised “without reservation” to the Speaker and the House as well as constituents and local party members and “anyone else who has been affected by my behaviour in any way”.

The findings mark the latest chapter in a series of misconduct claims linked to parliament.

The Sunday Times reported earlier this year that 56 MPs face allegations ranging from making sexually inappropriate comments to more serious wrongdoing.

Last month, an unnamed Conservative MP was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault offences spanning a seven-year period.

Another Tory MP, Neil Parish, quit in May after he admitted watching pornography in the House of Commons.

In April, Imran Ahmad Khan, also a Conservative MP, resigned after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.