Tory MP Ross Thomson quits as election candidate after groping allegations

Ross Thomson denies the allegations
Ross Thomson denies the allegations
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A Tory MP has announced he is to quit as the party's candidate in Aberdeen South after allegations that he groped a fellow MP in the Commons

Ross Thomson strenuously denied the claims made by Labour MP Paul Sweeney about the alleged incident in the Commons a year back in October.

But he insisted that personal abuse he has received as a result and a desire what to do was best for his country has prompted him to withdraw from the election race.

Mr Sweeney, the MP Glasgow North East, says he was "paralysed" with shock after the alleged assault by Thomson in October last year.
But Mr Thomson claimed they are a politically-motivated "smear" timed to co-incide with the general election campaign.

Read more: Tory MP Ross Thomson may face second probe over conduct

"I will continue to fight to clear my name," he said.

"Anonymous and malicious allegations this year have made my life a living hell. It has been nothing short of traumatic. I have suffered a level of personal abuse that has affected my health, my mental well-being and my staff. It has been a level of abuse that I never imagined possible.

"I always believed that politics was about noble pursuits and doing what you believed to be best for your country. My experience is that our politics is now so poisonous that we will never attract good, honest and decent people in the first place.

"I have there fore made the most difficult decision that I could ever make. I have decided that I will stand down as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Aberdeen South."

Mr Thomson had earlier today said he would still be stand as a candidate in the December 12 election, before the u-turn this afternoon.

The alleged incident took place in October 2018 after Sweeney had invited a group friends for a tour of the Commons and they were later having a drink in the Strangers Bar.
Sweeney told the mail n Sunday that Mr Thomson was "drunk to the point where he could not stand up."
He alleges that Mr Thomson grabbed him through his clothes. Sweeney told the 32-year-old Tory MP to stop touching him and asked him to leave.
"I felt paralysed. It was just such a shocking thing," Sweeney told the Mail on Sunday.
"I was in a cold sweat, it was mortifying."

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The Parliamentary Standards Commission launched an investigation after similar claims were made against Mr Thomson in February.