The news prompted immediate condemnation with Conservative MSP Annie Wells saying it was “disgraceful” that Grady had “got away with little more than a slap on the wrist”, and Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine describing the decision to “welcome him back into the parliamentary party under cover of the Christmas break” as “beneath contempt”.
Given former SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford was apparently ousted in part because it emerged that he had told SNP MPs to rally round Grady and said he looked forward to “welcoming Patrick back” after his suspension, it is odd that his successor, Stephen Flynn, appears to have done just that.
After an independent panel found Grady made an unwanted sexual advance to the 19-year-old at a social event in 2016 by touching and stroking his hair, back and neck, the MP for Glasgow North said he was “profoundly sorry”. This, along with a six-month suspension, appears to have satisfied the SNP.
The Scotsman could add its own condemnation of the decision. However, we feel entirely confident that our readers do not need to hear it, as anyone with an ounce of decency and common sense knows that sexual harassment is completely unacceptable behaviour and that elected representatives must be held to the highest standards of behaviour. After all, it is part of their job to build a better society in which young, junior members of staff are safe from the sexual appetites of those in positions of power.
Surely everyone knows this? Apparently not.