THE CHIEF executive of the SNP has been accused of refusing to act on bullying allegations from women against a sitting MSP.

Peter Murell, who is married to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, has been criticised for ignoring claims against SNP MSP Kenny Gibson – with two party officials in his Cunninghame North constituency quitting in protest.

The Sunday Mail reports that 21 members, activists and councillors have signed a letter of complaint sent to Mr Murrell in June 2019.

The letter points to claims of Mr Gibson’s “aggressive and abrasive” bullying, suggesting it is targeted “especially of women”.

Mr Murrell was asked to intervene after attempts for action at a local level “proved ineffective” and the letter raises that “Mr Gibson’s fitness to represent the Scottish National Party in Parliament is in question”.

The party members claim that follow-up emails, phone calls and letters to the party’s headquarters detailing the incidents have been ignored and no investigation has been carried out.

Mr Murrell is already facing pressure over handling of complaints against Alex Salmond, currently subject to a Holyrood inquiry – amid suggestions he pressured police into investigating the former First Minister. Mr Murrell said he wished he had expressed himself “more appropriately".

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says Alex Salmond 'didn't always behave'

The Scottish Conservatives have claimed that the latest revelation shows Mr Murrell “has to go” after suggested he has “tried to hush up another scandal”.

It has also been claimed Gibson broke Holyrood rules by using parliamentary staff for electioneering in his constituency, which covers Ayrshire and Arran.

Cunninghame North constituency organiser, Malcolm Kerr, said: “Complaints have included allegations of bullying, harassment, especially of women, and abuses of parliamentary expenses rules.

“Constituency officers have attempted over a long period to address these issues internally and to avoid adverse publicity.

“Some 21 branch and constituency association officials wrote to Peter Murrell in 2019 seeking advice and action and were reassured that the issues ‘would be dealt with at vetting’.

"Since then, we have received no information on what action, if any, was actually taken.

“There is widespread disbelief across the Cunninghame North SNP branches that Mr Gibson has been passed as fit to stand for election.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond inquiry: Nicola Sturgeon's husband Peter Murrell defends controversial messages

“Earlier this year, all six of the constituency association office bearers wrote again to Mr Murrell, compliance officer Ian McCann and national secretary Angus MacLeod.”

He added: “Despite reminders, follow-ups and sharing of correspondence with other leading figures in the party, we’ve been unable even to obtain acknowledgment of the correspondence, let alone any reply.

"It is disturbing that the SNP’s CEO and national secretary should fail to respond to a request for action within the party’s internal discipline process.

“We have asked for Mr Gibson’s suspension from the Cunninghame North selection contest until these matters have been addressed.”

Oppostion MSPs have called for Mr Murrell to quit over this and allegations he pressured police into investigating compaints against Mr Salmond.

Scottish Conservative MSP, Oliver Mundell, said: “It seems that the SNP have tried to hush up another scandal.

“A number of serious complaints from SNP officials and members have apparently gone ignored by Peter Murrell.

“If he’s not calling for the police to be pressured into action against Alex Salmond, he’s turning a blind eye to women being bullied in his own party.

“How can Nicola Sturgeon, as SNP leader, stand by and do nothing in the face of more devastating revelations about Mr Murrell? He has to go.”

A spokesperson for SNP national secretary, Mr MacLeod said: “Any concerns raised are passed to, and considered by, the national secretary, who treats any such matters seriously.

“Some evidence of the claims being made is, however, required and that’s been made clear to those raising concerns here.”