The standards commissioner has thrown out the complaint that ended the Parliamentary career of Ross Thomson, who stood down as MP for Aberdeen South at the General Election. The complaint, brought forward by then Labour MP Paul Sweeney, was dismissed after his story changed over time and was not supported by any witnesses’ recollection. Sweeney gave two interviews about the allegation last year, to the Daily Record and Mail on Sunday…
Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone told The Times that “Mr Sweeney’s account was of behaviour that was highly unlikely to have gone unnoticed by others in the immediate vicinity” adding that she was “concerned that the detail of Mr Sweeney’s account has changed, with new elements introduced over time”. Sweeney is keeping quiet today, not commenting on any of this…
Other political opponents of Thomson are being more generous on the other hand, the SNP’s Joanna Cherry has tweeted her support, saying:
“I’m no fan of Ross Thomson’s politics but it’s a disgrace that his career & life have been ruined by an unproven allegation. We must restore the maxim of innocent until proven guilty in public life in Scotland or we’re doomed”
“The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards will not uphold complaints made against me last year, and I welcome this decision.
Evidence submitted to the Commissioner by an independent investigator supported my view that the allegations levelled against me were both false and malicious.
From the start of this ordeal, I maintained that I was the victim of a smear, and the 19-month investigation clearly showed this to be the case.
I complied fully with the investigation at every stage, even when it meant I could not defend myself publicly against damaging, distressing and false accusations.
Whilst it is regrettable that I had to wait this long to clear my name, I am satisfied that the independent inquiry was both extensive and robust.
The last two years have been a living hell, with these false allegations triggering a barrage of unfair headlines and unrelenting abuse on the street and online.
I was forced to give up the job I loved, making myself and my office staff unemployed. Furthermore, my reputation has been irreparably damaged by these lies.
I would like to thank former Conservative, Labour and SNP colleagues at Westminster for supporting me throughout this nightmare, and for ensuring the truth came out.
I am currently exploring all legal avenues, and I look forward to drawing a line under this ordeal and finally moving on with my life.”