Sexual harassment claim at Scottish Parliament

A woman has claimed she was sexually harassed at the Scottish Parliament by a member of staff working for a political party, it has emerged. The claim was made in a submission to the Holyrood Standards Committee by the Women's Rights Centre (WRC).

The Scottish Parliament building. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The WRC’s Katy Mathieson said the woman had already experienced a less serious episode of “gender-based violence” at Holyrood before the recent incident occurred. Gender-based violence is a broad term which ranges from physical violence to harassment. Holyrood’s failure to respond to the first episode had discouraged her from reporting the second.

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The woman was quoted as saying: “It is hard to believe that the Scottish Parliament is really serious about these issues... I have another experience where I was sexually harassed by a member of staff from a political party on parliament premises – but I now have absolutely no confidence in reporting it.”

A Holyrood spokeswoman said the parliament took a zero tolerance approach to harassment.