SNP bosses knew one of their MPs had an issue with sexual misconduct yet let him remain in charge of party discipline at Westminster. 

Patrick Grady carried on as chief whip despite having to take a “conduct training” course after being accused of groping a male researcher at a 2016 Christmas party. 

The party even allowed to speak in a Commons debate about the harassment of staff.

“Bullying, harassment, and a toxic culture of insecurity and under-mining have been found to be commonplace, and they are all perhaps manifestations of deeper-rooted cultures and behaviours associated with the abuse of power,” he told MPs in July 2019.

“Perhaps, on reflection, some of us will recognise our own behaviours."

However Mr Grady, the MP for Glasgow North, did not step aside as chief whip until March 2021 -  after the Herald revealed the accusations against him.

Nicola Sturgeon said at the time that she “would have had an awareness previously of a concern but not a formal complaint” about Mr Grady.

We reported how complaints had been sent to the office of then Commons speaker John Bercow in 2017 and 2018, which passed them to the SNP’s compliance unit.

One letter, signed by "concerned staff members", stated: "This matter in relation to repeated sexual misconduct is widely known about within Westminster and the SNP group, however, given his position and despite a supposed tough stance against harassment, Patrick Grady is being protected and his behaviour is supported."

He and Patricia Gibson, the SNP MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, were subsequently reported under the new Commons grievance procedure for alleged sexual harassment.

Ms Gibson has said the allegation that she made inappropriate comments to a male member of staff in January 2020 is unfounded and “malicious”.

However the Sunday TImes reported last month that the complaints against both the MPs had been upheld by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

It had previously been reported that a tearful Mr Grady apologised to the complainer at a meeting with SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford in 2018.

The Daily Record today reported that Mr Grady subsequently took part in a behaviour-related training course, yet was allowed to carry on as chief whip.

The Herald understands the course was undertaken after an in-house SNP investigation.

Mr Grady, 42, who was first elected in 2015, went on to stand in the 2019 general election and was re-elected with an increased majority.

Scottish Labour deputy  Jackie Baillie said the “astonishing revelations” about the SNP’s previous knowledge and actions raised “deeply worrying questions".

She told the Record: “Even now, the SNP seem desperate to turn a blind eye to the allegations against Grady and continue as normal.”

Glasgow Tory MSP Annie Wells said: “The brave complainer who came forward in this case will be in total despair as to how the SNP have handled it. It looks more like a cover-up with each revelation that emerges.

“From the outset, there has been a failure by the SNP to be transparent, whether to the complainer or the wider public.

“Urgent answers must be given by the SNP as to why they have kept crucial details of this case hidden for so long.”

An SNP spokesperson said: “It would not be legally appropriate to comment while the independent parliamentary process is ongoing.”