NEW: SNP MP U-Turns on Patrick Grady Support, Offers Full Apology

SNP MP Amy Callaghan has performed a 180° u-turn on her support for sexual harasser Patrick Grady, offering a full apology. This morning, Guido covered the weekend’s chaotic SNP news, which involved a leaked recording of Westminster leader Ian Blackford telling his MPs to back the shamed ex-chief whip Patrick Grady, during which Callaghan was heard telling her colleagues, “I think we should be rallying together for this campaign, but also regardless of our position on Patrick’s situation, we should be rallying together around him to support him at this time as well.”

A statement released on her social media 20 minutes ago, however, massively rows back from this after her comments were made public:

“I am both sorry and, ultimately, take full responsibility for my words, as insensitive, poorly worded and misplaced as they were. I’m taking full accountability for the hurt and disappointment I’ve caused, not least of all to those directly impacted by sexual misconduct in this case. Survivors must be supported. I should have prefaced my comments and reiterated this throughout my contribution. I believed I was in a situation where my support of survivors was implied. I was wrong. This isn’t good enough.”

She says she has written to the SNP chief whip in Westminster asking for a “full root and branch review, commissioned by an independent external organisation, of our internal misconduct and harassment structures”. Blackford remains very silent…

Read Callaghan’s statement in full:

This can and should only start with a wholehearted apology to anyone – especially survivors of harassment – who have been hurt or triggered as a result of this week.

I have been searingly reflective and honest with myself. Whilst I can’t forgive myself for how inappropriate it was for me to frame my input in this way, I owe everyone, not least survivors and my constituents, an explanation:

I am both sorry and, ultimately, take full responsibility for my words, as insensitive, poorly worded and misplaced as they were. I’m taking full accountability for the hurt and disappointment I’ve caused, not least of all to those directly impacted by sexual misconduct in this case.

Survivors must be supported. I should have prefaced my comments and reiterated this throughout my contribution. I believed I was in a situation where my support of survivors was implied. I was wrong. This isn’t good enough.

My comments without this context absolutely warrant the upset they have caused. I am truly sorry. As a party, we are, clearly, falling short in supporting complainants. There must be structures of support in place – first, foremost and without equivocation – for survivors of harassment. Zero tolerance can’t be a slogan, it has to be real. I have today written to our Chief Whip to request a full root and branch review, commissioned by an independent external organisation, of our internal misconduct and harassment structures.

On the substantive point I tried and failed to make, I got it wrong. On a basic, human level, I was trying to ensure mental health, counselling or rehabilitative support for a colleague from our group, to prevent unacceptable incidences like this from happening again. I can see now how hollow and inappropriate a request that was if that same offer of support was not also given to the complainant. This should have been clearer.

I cannot condone the way this was presented on my part. This was wrong, insensitive and I am deeply sorry.

I am hugely saddened that I have let myself down in this way. Whilst easy to say – and clearly harder to believe at this time – this isn’t reflective of who I am as a person.

There is a complainant who has been let down this week by my words and by my party. There is no moral high ground or false equivalence when it comes to misconduct. We must do better, myself included.

Amy

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Amy Callaghan
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