CLAIMS that a former Tory MP sexually assaulted a Labour colleague in a Westminster bar have been dismissed.

The claims against Ross Thomson, former MP for Aberdeen South, have not been upheld by the Standards Commissioner, it has been reported. 

The former MP for Aberdeen South, and Boris Johnson's Scottish campaign chairman, quit after Labour MP Paul Sweeney made the claims that he had groped him in 2018. 

Sweeney, who went public with the claims prior to the 2019 General Election, lost his seat as Glasgow North East MP in December. 

He alleged that Thomson tried to fondle his genitals and forced his hand down his trousers in Westminster's Strangers Bar in October 2018. 

HeraldScotland: Paul Sweeney MP

According to The Times, the parliamentary standards commissioner Kathryn Stone has now concluded her probe into the allegations, finding that Mr Thomson’s behaviour was not sexual, clearing him of misconduct. 

The Commissioner is reported to have found that witness accounts did not match the allegations, and that while it was "entirely possible that discreet contact might not have been observed by others, Mr Sweeney’s account was of behaviour that was highly unlikely to have gone unnoticed by others in the immediate vicinity." 

Ms Stone said she was “concerned that the detail of Mr Sweeney’s account has changed, with new elements introduced over time, some of which have not been substantiated”.

She said: “I cannot safely conclude that this complaint presents as a malicious one.”

Investigators found that Mr Thomson had leant on Mr Sweeney and repeatedly put his arms around him, invading his personal space in Strangers’ Bar in October 2018. Ms Stone ruled that neither action crossed the boundary into being sexually inappropriate.

She said that there was insufficient evidence to find that Mr Thomson had groped Mr Sweeney, touched him inappropriately, tried to force his hands down his trousers or stroked him while sitting on the arm of a chair.

Several aspects of Mr Sweeney’s evidence, including the guests he had been sitting with, were contradicted by witness accounts.

Mr Sweeney lodged the complaint five months after the alleged incident, weeks after separate allegations were made against Mr Thomson, which resulted in police being called to the bar in Westminster.

Read more: Tory MP Ross Thomson speaks out after quitting over 'grope' claim

The Commissioner found Mr Sweeney’s explanation, that he only complained when he thought Mr Thomson may be a serial offender, to be plausible.

No complaints were filed to police about the second incident — on February 5, 2019 — and Mr Thomson has always denied any wrongdoing.

The second incident was examined by the investigator who was exploring whether Mr Thomson had shown a pattern of behaviour. Interviews were conducted and CCTV footage obtained but no such pattern is mentioned in the report.

The former Labour MP has the right to appeal the decision,and has been approached for comment. 

Mr Thomson said today that he had experienced abuse online as a resut of the allegations, but now wanted to move on with his life.

Read more: Labour MP Paul Sweeney claims he was groped by Tory MP Ross Thomson in Commons bar

He said he had waited almost two years to "even try and think about piecing it back together”, adding: "I am currently exploring all legal avenues."