A Tory MSP has been cleared of sexual harassment following a party disciplinary hearing.

Miles Briggs faced accusations he made persistent unwanted advances to a female worker from another party at a parliamentary social event.

Following the February event, the woman formally lodged a complaint with the Conservatives in July.

After an investigation and disciplinary hearing took place in Edinburgh on Monday which cleared Mr Briggs.


(Photo: Gordon Terris)

The Lothian MSP said the last two months had been a "living hell" for him.

He said: "I have today been cleared by the disciplinary committee of the Scottish Conservatives following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment made against me.

"I welcome the chance today to speak publicly for the first time about these allegations.

"They have hung over me in private for the last two months. Now that they have been made public, I feel I can finally set the record straight.
"The allegations are completely false."

He added: "The last two months have been a living hell for me and my family as I have had to face these false allegations of sexual harassment made against me.

"Damage has clearly been done to my character, especially among those who don't know me, and I hope I have the chance to address that in the coming weeks and months."

HeraldScotland: MSP Miles Briggs with Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said that the party was "committed to ensuring that women and men are able to report allegations of sexual harassment".

She said: "Having reviewed the evidence submitted from both sides, the hearing concluded that Mr Briggs is not guilty of sexual harassment.

"This was based on several credible eyewitness statements, including some from representatives from other political parties.

"Mr Briggs was not suspended as an MSP during this process because no allegation of criminality was made against him."

She added: "This has not been an easy process but the party is committed to ensuring that women and men are able to report allegations of sexual harassment to us and maintain their anonymity as they do so ...

"Where there is credible evidence of sexual harassment by party representatives, we will not hesitate in taking disciplinary action."