On the day the BBC reported that Patrick Grady MP has been banned from the House of Commons for sexual offences I republish the article that appeared on this blog more than a year ago as the ”victim” tried to get justice and met opposition and great difficulty. This frustration led to the correspondence being leaked to me to make public. A year later Mr Grady has still not been suspended by the SNP (unless it happened today after the publicity of his HOC BAN). Compare and contrast in how quickly Tim Rideout was suspended, without a hearing for a trivial offence in comparison.
What follows is a message sent by Kieran Reape who is the SNP staff employee who made allegations against two SNP POLITICIANS. Earlier today he sent this message to all the other SNP employees working at Westminster highlighting that the assurances issued by Ian BLACKFORD in March were not being honoured. The second letter is the letter issued to staff after the allegations were made. I have removed the direct dial phone numbers from the people named in the letter. The BLACKFORD email contained the issue until after the election. Maybe now somebody might investigate. Nicola of course was busy smearing someone else who was found innocent rather than addressing these incidents. Strange priorities is it not?
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland.
From: REAPE, Kieran
Sent: 12 May 2021 08:56
To: BLACKFORD, Ian ; OSWALD, Kirsten
Cc: ARMSHAW, Emma ; REID, Callum ; PURDIE, Emilie-Louise ; OSWALD, Kirsten ; ASIF, Ahmed ; BRADLEY, Eoin ; CARRE, Zoe ; FRENCH, Tom ; HAMILL, Matthew ; HARVEY, Anne ; KIEHLMANN, Jonathan A ; LUCK, Maria-Clorinda ; LUKAS, Aaron ; MACDONALD, Fraser ; MARWICK, Lynsey Anne ; MATHESON, Catriona A ; MCCREAR, Stacey ; MULLINS-SILVERSTEIN, Christopher M ; NAGY, Linda ; REAPE, Kieran ; ROBERTSON, Angus ; SAADE, Salma ; SIMMONDS-UPTON, Josh ; TAYLOR, Scott B ; Tom French ; WARD, Andrew ; SNP Members’ Staff ; SNP Group
Subject: RE: Staff update
It’s been over two months since we received this email from our Leader, Ian Blackford and over three months since the complaints were known. Since then the two MPs have been named in the press as Patrick Grady and Patricia Gibson and since then, Patrick Grady was speaking yesterday in the Queen’s Speech and Patricia Gibson continuing to serve on the frontbench while publicly defaming the victim saying the complaints are “unfounded” and “malicious”, despite HQ being provided with texts that show the allegations are not “unfounded”.
These concerns were raised with HQ, who have yet to approach any witnesses or even do anything other than get a statement over 2 months ago.
Two MPs witnessed the harassment by Patricia but she is still serving and neither witness has been approached. Why?
Ian Blackford knows about the Patrick Grady harassment, he’s still an SNP MP speaking on the SNP benches. Why?
I’m writing to staff to let you know that you are not safe working for the SNP Westminster Group, as someone who worked in the Whips Office for over 5 years, I’ve seen how the Party deals with discipline, you will not be protected if the harassment comes from an MP. We are seeing this happen right now.
If you are unhappy with how this has been handled, make sure you let your employer and union know, because with the culture in Westminster, you may be next to receive sexual harassment when you are expected to work on the Parliamentary Estate.
We as staff should not have to put up with this. We all know that if these incidents happened staff, they would have been dealt with by now, but because of the power and position of an MP, it is being ignored by the SNP.
I wish you all the best in the future, as it is clear my future has been put to a halt by the SNP by protecting its Members of Parliament instead of its staff.
From: BLACKFORD, Ian
Sent: 11 March 2021 12:56
Subject: Staff update
Following the news of allegations of sexual harassment, I wanted to write and offer reassurance that the SNP Westminster Group has a zero-tolerance approach to inappropriate behaviour.
I appreciate seeing such news reports can be upsetting, and I wanted to remind staff of the resources available to you should you have any concerns.
Here at Westminster, the Group Executive put in place a Valuing Others Statement, which is available via your individual Breathe HR portal under ‘company documents’. This statement provides links to the most up to date resources and guidance for staff on the issue. This includes Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Schemewhere you can find guidance on the support and advisory services available to you if you feel you have experienced bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct, as well as details of how you can report inappropriate behaviour and what you can expect to happen throughout the process. The ICGS can be contacted at 0808 168 9281 / email@example.com.
In addition, the House of Commons Employee Assistance Programme is a confidential support service for employees. The 24-hour helpline is 0800 030 5182.
Even though you may not have worked directly at SNP Headquarters, party procedures, through the Code of Conduct for Members, are aimed at ensuring anyone can raise concerns directly and in confidence, including the option of choosing to do so to someone completely outside the immediate Party structure. The external route is Lesley Johnston, a solicitor with Kennedys Scotland. Her contact details are: firstname.lastname@example.org and direct dial
Alternatively, individuals can report any matter on a confidential basis, either formally or informally, using the internal route. The point of contact at SNP Headquarters is Ian McCann, who may be contacted at email@example.com and direct dial
Party colleagues at HQ can also provide advice, counselling and, if needed, access to mental health support services. If you wish to talk to someone in HQ about any of these matters, please contact Susan Ruddick .The wellbeing service Sue manages is confidential and independent of any official reporting mechanisms.
I am clear that the welfare of our staff is paramount. Any concerns raised will be taken seriously, dealt with confidentially, and if it is your wish, independently investigated. Of course, if you believe that you may have been the victim of a crime, you should not hesitate to go to the police.
I look forward to seeing you at tomorrow’s staff meeting where I would be happy to discuss any of these resources further, or you may speak to me individually if you prefer.
MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber
SNP Westminster Group Leader