Exclusive:Sex pest MP Patrick Grady is welcome to campaign in Rutherglen and Hamilton West ahead of by-election, says SNP candidate

Katy Loudon said Patrick Grady made a ‘terrible mistake’

The SNP candidate in the crucial Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election has said an MP who sexually harassed a staff member would be welcome on the campaign trail.

Katy Loudon said Patrick Grady had made a “terrible mistake” and both the SNP and a Westminster panel had taken action.

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Mr Grady, the MP for Glasgow North, was seen campaigning for the SNP in the South Lanarkshire constituency last month, sparking outrage from opposition politicians.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Dame Jackie Baillie wrote to the SNP asking the party to prevent Mr Grady from campaigning.

Mr Grady apologised in Parliament last year after being found to have acted inappropriately towards a party staffer. He had the SNP whip restored in December following a six-month suspension.

In an exclusive interview with The Scotsman, Ms Loudon was asked if she was happy that Mr Grady was out campaigning. "Patrick made a terrible mistake,” she said. “There has been an investigation, which our party supported, and that was the right thing for there to be that committee investigating."

Asked if she would want him to come and campaign again, she said: "I've been asked about various people – ‘would you be happy for this person to campaign, this person to campaign’. We welcome any activist who wants to come along, if they're coming along in their capacity as a member of the SNP."

Pressed on whether this included Mr Grady, she said: "Yes."

Ms Loudon added: "My focus just now is on this campaign. I've never been involved in any of the party's disciplinary proceedings or sat on any of those committees. The party has taken action. A Westminster committee has taken action. If Patrick comes along here to campaign as an activist, then he would be doing so in that capacity."

The by-election, which is due to take place on October 5, is being fiercely contested by both the SNP and Labour.

Ms Baillie said “Once again the SNP is happy to turn a blind eye to Patrick Grady’s misconduct when it suits the party’s interests. Rutherglen and Hamilton West deserves better than this sleaze-ridden SNP.”



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