SNP MP Patricia Gibson cleared of sexual harassment complaint

The frontbencher was accused of propositioning and repeatedly touching a staff member at a party in Parliament's Strangers Bar

Patricia Gibson (left) says she is pleased that her reputation has been restored Credit: NEIL HANNA/AFP

An SNP MP has been cleared of drunkenly asking a party staffer to “come home and shag me” after an initial ruling that upheld the complaint was quashed.

Patricia Gibson, a frontbencher, said she was “pleased that my reputation has been restored” after it was found that an investigation into her conduct had been “materially flawed” and had failed to take all the evidence into account.

She told a Commons probe that she was too drunk to recall what happened in Parliament's Strangers Bar in January 2020, when she was accused of propositioning the staff member and repeatedly touching him.

However, she insisted she would never have used the word “shag”, as was alleged, or have come on to the complainant.

Ms Gibson, 54, who is married to the SNP MSP Kenny Gibson, was also accused of trying to pull her accuser into a taxi outside Parliament.

While a complaint under the sexual misconduct policy was originally upheld by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, this was overturned by an independent expert panel, which ruled the probe had been botched.

It said there had been “procedural unfairness” in how the complaint was handled and that the wrong test had been applied in deciding what amounted to sexual misconduct.

The complaint was made by the same SNP staffer who was the victim of unwanted attention from Patrick Grady, the former SNP chief whip, who was suspended from the Commons for two days after a complaint against him was upheld.

‘I have always maintained my innocence’

“I am reassured that the Independent Expert Panel has exonerated me, and has found that I am not guilty and that the investigation into this case was materially flawed,” Ms Gibson said.

“I have always maintained my innocence. It has been a very difficult 16 months during which my reputation has been wrongly and repeatedly traduced in the press and on social media, which has also jeopardised my personal safety with threats, abuse and harassment.

“I have found this period extremely traumatic but I am pleased that my reputation has been restored and now wish to draw a line under this matter and look to the future.”

The staffer told The Daily Record that he was “heartbroken” by the ruling and believed he had been let down by the bungled investigation.