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Six of the worst SNP sex scandals

Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/PA Images

It seems a fresh scandal is embroiling the SNP. In recent days, reports have emerged that two of the party’s politicians were so wrapped up in an extramarital affair during Covid that they disregarded their own government’s pandemic restrictions to continue it. Matt Hancock, step aside… 

The SNP has denied the rumours as ‘categorically untrue’, but reports of the illicit affair continue to dominate the news. Mr S takes a look at some of the most recent SNP sex scandals to have hit the headlines. Here are six of the worst that we can report on:

1. Love triangle

A storyline fit for the movies, this scandal began with three love-rats and ended in two broken marriages. In 2016 it emerged that Serena Cowdy, journalist for political magazine the House, had been involved with married father-of-three, SNP MP Angus MacNeil during the independence referendum campaign. Only a few months later, Cowdy moved on to another lover: deputy leader of the SNP at the time, Stewart Hosie. Hosie was also married – to SNP MSP and close friend of Nicola Sturgeon, Shona Robison. Robison ended her marriage after Hosie confessed to her in the aftermath of the 2016 Holyrood election result and since then, Cowdy and Hosie have remained together. Cowdy was elected as an SNP councillor in Angus last year and is attempting to become a nationalist MP for Arbroath and Broughty Ferry. All’s well that ends well…

2. Three-in-a-bed

MacNeil – now an independent MP after his bust-up with former SNP chief whip Brendan O’Hara – is no stranger to saucy affairs. Long before he met Cowdy, MacNeil was implicated in a three-in-the-bed sex scandal that involved two teenage musicians from the Isle of Lewis. MacNeil has since apologised for the event and described it as a ‘lapse of judgement’. The tryst damaged both his reputation and his career prospects.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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