The SNP whips’ office scandal

The SNP whips' office scandal
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It was Enoch Powell who remarked that 'the House of Commons without whips is like a city without sewers.' And it seems that the piping has sprung a leak, given the amount of excrement that's been flying around Westminster in recent months. In January it was the Tory whips and their chief Mark Spencer, who faced allegations of intimidation and Islamophobia from disgruntled wards.

And now it's the turn of the SNP, those custodians of probity and standards in public life. For Patrick Grady – the party's former chief enforcer at Westminster – is one of two nationalist MPs facing claims of sexual harassment. An SNP staffer says the Glasgow North MP put his fingers down the back of his collar and touched his hair in London’s Water Poet bar in 2016 when he was 19. A formal complaint to Westminster authorities has reportedly been upheld and referred to an independent panel. 

Grady stood aside as Chief Whip when the allegations emerged publicly in March 2021 but this morning's Daily Record reveals that SNP bosses merely put him on conduct training when they were told of the incident in 2018. Grady also kept his post as the SNP's chief disciplinarian for another three years – even leading a debate in parliament on the harassment of staff in July 2019. 

Talk about specialist knowledge of the subject.

Written bySteerpike

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

Topics in this articlePoliticsScotlandpatrick grady