02 Mar 2018: Sex scandals in Scottish parliament under Nicola Sturgeon’s watch
The publication date, early March 2018, is very relevant. This was a Scottish Government survey conducted right at the start of the efforts to destroy the reputation of Alex Salmond.
The report was a political bombshell, and yet it never appeared in any of the copious senior management texting correspondence. Nicola Sturgeon maintained she knew nothing about anything, which is impossible to believe since she read and commented on the document.
The October 2017, “Me2” campaign and the Westminster sex scandal arising from it prompted the completion of a confidential survey of people employed at Holyrood, including MSPs, their staff, parliamentary workers, and news reporters. Over 1000 individuals responded and the results were shocking.
The Holyrood sexual harassment report was sent to Nicola Sturgeon at the beginning of March 2018. It listed more than 200 allegations of harassment, most dating from 2016. Of the 137 women who said they had been sexually harassed, 67 reported that the perpetrator was an MSP. The report was quickly buried, and only Alex Salmond was put through the ringer. Why?
The findings showed that Holyrood perpetrators were nearly always male, regardless of the gender of the victim and in the majority of cases, the alleged perpetrator was in a position of authority.
Reports included 5 instances where the perpetrator had attempted to pinch or grope the victim’s bottom, and 10 where they had tried to kiss their victim. There was even 1 attempt to grope the breast of a woman, and another attempt to grab at a victim’s crotch.
The report also indicated that victims and their perpetrators were “most likely” to come from the same group of people. Nine of the 13 MSPs who had reported sexual harassment said their abuser had been another MSP.
Some 40 percent of respondents said they had been targeted by a parliamentary worker, and a further 20 percent by a member of MSPs’ staff. The total percentage exceeds 100 percent, as some respondents reported more than one case of harassment.
A total of 29 percent of respondents – which is approximately 300 people – said they had witnessed sexual harassment. One-in-five women said they had received sexist comments, 16 percent reported unwanted looks or leers, and another nine percent reported unwanted physical contact.
Of concern was that 11 people who had reported harassment said their cases were not taken seriously or acted on by their managers, while four said their complaints had caused problems for them at work. Most had taken no action at all, and a quarter of respondents said they didn’t feel confident that they knew how to report such incidents. (Sputnik)
The Scottish National party (SNP) is the only party in Scotland that cannot provide evidence of overhauling its sexual harassment policy following the #MeToo revelations of November 2017. This after a confidential survey conducted on 01 March 2018 found that one in 10 staff had experienced sexual harassment, 45% of whom said that the perpetrator was an MSP.
After note: All political parties, apart from the SNP, introduced revised procedures after 2017. Asked for comment, the SNP said it “continually looks to improve [its] policies and processes” and planned to introduce, in time, trained sexual harassment advisers.
The SNP is the only party which did not at the time display a code of conduct and relevant harassment policy on its website, or offer an easily searchable contact phone numbers or email to make a complaint. Indeed, the SNP code of conduct made no mention of sexual harassment specifically. (Guardian)