Commons Panel Rejects Bridgen’s Appeal

The Commons’ Independent Expert Panel has today dismissed an appeal by Andrew Bridgen against a decision by the Commons’ sleaze committee that he broke the code of conduct. Bridgen contested that the sanction imposed on him was “unreasonable or disproportionate”. The IEP, chaired by a retired appeal judge, dismissed the appeal on all grounds…

Bridgen also claimed the Commissioner’s investigation was flawed:

“his criticism is that the Commissioner failed to reflect the suggestion that the complaint against the Appellant was by a journalist who was politically or professionally motivated; failed to investigate properly whether his lobbying was permissible constituency business; and failed to take that factor into account in her recommendations to the Committee. She also failed to reflect the fact that, despite his contract with Mere Plantations Limited to provide services for a monthly fee of £1,000, he had not invoiced them and had received no money from them. He further sought to criticise the Commissioner on the ground that another Member had lobbied in circumstances where that Member owed a relevant debt, but that matter was resolved speedily and without referral to the Committee.”

The IEP replied in their report that “the journalistic or political motives behind any complaint are completely irrelevant.”

Rather than reducing the sentence, the panel notes that in fact the sanctions for breach of the rule against paid advocacy “could properly and fairly have been more severe”. Not the outcome he was hoping for…

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SNP MP Patrick Grady Recommended for Two Day Suspension by Independent Expert Panel For Sexual Misconduct

“The Independent Expert Panel (IEP) has today (14 June) published a report recommending that Patrick Grady MP is suspended from the House of Commons for two days for a breach of Parliament’s Sexual Misconduct Policy…

An unwanted physical touching, with sexual intent, from a senior MP to a junior member of staff, even on a single occasion, is a significant breach of the policy. It must be marked by some period of suspension from the House.

The sub-panel took into account Mr Grady’s genuine remorse for his actions, that they were not repeated once rebuffed, and his efforts to address his behaviour since the incident. It therefore recommended Mr Grady be suspended for two sitting days, make a public apology in the House of Commons, and a private one to the complainant.”

Patrick Grady was, until these allegations were made public, the SNP’s Westminster Chief Whip. Reminder: 1 in 5 SNP MPs Has Quit, Been Sacked, Is Under Investigation or Suspended

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