Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:40 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip 5:40 pm, 17th July 2019

As I said in the previous debate, the SNP is very happy to support this motion and welcomes the changes to the independent complaints and grievance procedure, to open it up to cases that predate the 2017 Parliament. That is the most important way we can ensure that anyone who has been affected by inappropriate behaviour in the parliamentary community has access to and independent means of achieving justice, as well as the many excellent support services that have been put in place.

While I understand why the previous cut-off date was introduced to begin the process, it now feels arbitrary, and it does not recognise that investigations should be based on the weight of evidence, not simply the passage of time. That is why we are pleased that in the Commission’s statement, a key emphasis is placed on ensuring that the investigatory process at all stages is

“independent, impartial, thorough and fair, and evidence led”.

As was said in the previous debate, we have to remember that this is fundamentally about achieving not only justice for people who have been affected by inappropriate behaviour but longer-term cultural change in Parliament. Once again, the SNP is happy to support the motion.