PATRICIA Gibson has been identified as the MP subject to a complaint of sexual harassment by a party employee. 

The MP for North Ayrshire and Arran has denied that she did anything wrong, saying the claims are "malicious" and "without any foundation", and that "there are significant doubts about the source of the story."  

The Herald previously reported that a complaint had been submitted to the SNP about Ms Gibson's behaviour towards a party employee, when the pair were drinking in Strangers bar in Westminster.

Ms Gibson could not previously be named for legal reasons.

It is alleged that Ms Gibson, 52, behaved inappropriately towards the man, then aged 22, in front of other MPs and bystanders, during a drinking session on January 8, 2020.

It is claimed the front-bencher was "grabbing" the man's hand and pulling at him, and he alleged she said "things like 'You should come home with me'".

 

HeraldScotland: The picture that says it all - Patricia Gibson MP and husband Kenneth Gibson MSP.

The Herald understands that two SNP MPs witnessed an incident that night, with at least one of them providing statements to the party confirming what they saw. Ms Gibson said the MPs have told the SNP "there is no substance to allegations suggesting inappropriate sexual behaviour by me."

New evidence in the form of text messages have been submitted to the SNP this week, and have been seen by The Herald.

The messages sent from an SNP MP who was in the bar and witnessed the incident, to the complainer, shortly after midnight on January 9, appear to back up claims by the man that an incident happened with a woman in Strangers bar on January 8.

They also show that the SNP MP suggested the man could take forward a complaint if he wanted to due to what had happened that evening.

READ MORE: SNP 'protected' chief whip Patrick Grady over grope allegations

Another witness, who did not work for the party, previously told the Herald that he saw what happened and corroborated the man's account. 

He said at the time: "She was putting her hands on his shoulders, feeling his arms, touching him and grabbing his hand. She also kept leaning over and saying something to him, I don’t know what she said, but afterwards I could see that he was really uncomfortable.

"She was also putting her arms around me and things but not in the same way."

Ms Gibson denies this happened. 

Ms Gibson is married to MSP Kenny Gibson, and is the SNP's spokeswoman on housing, communities and local government. She was promoted to the front bench earlier this year during a reshuffle by Westminster party leader Ian Blackford. 

READ MORE: SNP under pressure to suspend two MPs at centre of harassment claims as new witness speaks out

She said: "I have repeatedly stated that these are malicious allegations which are completely without any foundation. That remains my position.

"As I made clear when these serious allegations were first made, there are significant doubts about the source of the story.

"In particular, the fact that these allegations date back to January 2020, and my understanding is that the complainant was repeatedly told by the SNP the correct way to make a complaint is following the Parliamentary process, but the complainant has chosen not to do that.

"It is my position that he is unwilling to make a formal complaint because he knows the allegations are untrue and that will be the finding of any investigation.

"If there is a formal investigation into these malicious allegations then I welcome the opportunity to clear my name."

The complainant has made a formal complaint to the SNP, which is being investigated, and has now contacted the Parliamentary complaints body the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).  

READ MORE: Timeline of SNP harassment claims against Patrick Grady and fellow MP

The SNP was asked if Ms Gibson would be standing down from her front-bench role while the investigation takes place, with a spokesman saying: "Individuals are entitled to have complaints dealt with confidentially.

"It would be inappropriate to comment."

The revelations come after the Herald previously identified Patrick Grady, the party's former Chief Whip, as another MP who is subject to a complaint by the same staff member for an incident which happened in London's Water Poet pub. 

A letter was also sent to the House of Commons speaker previously about allegations that Mr Grady had groped staff members at the party's Christmas bash. 

Mr Grady has stepped down from his Chief Whip role while the investigation is ongoing, with Owen Thompson MP replacing him for the time being. Mr Grady has not commented on the allegations.