Tory MP quits after allegation over ‘groping’ by Glasgow MP
A SCOTTISH Tory MP accused of sexually assaulting a Labour politician in a Westminster bar has announced he is standing down at the General Election.
Ross Thomson said “anonymous and malicious” allegations against him had made his life a living hell.
It comes after Paul Sweeney, the Labour MP for Glasgow North East, publicly accused Mr Thomson of groping him in the Strangers’ Bar in the Commons last year.
Mr Thomson, who led Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party leadership campaign in Scotland and is a staunch supporter of Brexit, insisted the claims were “false and defamatory” and a “political smear”.
The Aberdeen South MP was accused of groping men in the same bar in a separate incident earlier this year.
The police were called then, but no formal allegations were made.
In a statement posted on social media yesterday, Mr Thomson said: “Anonymous and malicious allegations this year have made my life a living hell. It has been nothing short of traumatic.
“I have suffered a level of personal abuse that has affected my health, my mental wellbeing and my staff.
“It has been a level of abuse I never imagined possible.
“I always believed politics was about noble pursuits and doing what you believed to be best for your country.
“My experience is our politics is now so poisonous we will never attract good, honest and decent people in the first place.
“I have therefore made the most difficult decision that I could ever make.
“I have decided I will stand down as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Aberdeen South.”
Mr Thomson, 32, said serving as an MP had been the “absolute privilege of my life”.
He said he remained confident an ongoing investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Commission would find in his favour “and that these baseless claims will be shown up for what they are”.
He added: “As I have already said, I will continue to explore all options available to me in response to the defamatory and damaging allegations made by Mr Sweeney.
“This General Election campaign is hugely important for the future of Scotland, and, indeed, the very future of our Union.
“Therefore, I wish my successor candidate all the very best in their efforts to protect Scotland’s place in the UK and to sort Brexit.”
Mr Sweeney told the Scottish Mail on Sunday Mr Thomson had drunkenly grabbed at him in the Strangers’ Bar in the Commons in October 2018, and then tried to put his hands down the front of his trousers.
The 30-year-old said: “I felt paralysed. It was just such a shocking thing.
“I was in a cold sweat, it was mortifying.
“In the back of my mind, I was thinking that if I just punched the guy, who knows where that could end.”
Ross Thomson, above, will stand down at next month’s General Election following the claims by Labour MP Paul Sweeney, left