‘MSPS should be held to ac­count for mis­con­duct’

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By LYNSEY BEWS

Holy­rood should step out of its “com­fort zone” and in­tro­duce a sys­tem that would al­low politi­cians to be kicked out of par­lia­ment if they are found guilty of mis­con­duct such as sex­ual ha­rass­ment, MSPS have said.

Labour’s Rhoda Grant and Scot­tish Lib­eral Demo­crat leader Wil­lie Ren­nie backed changes which they said would prop­erly hold MSPS to ac­count dur­ing a de­bate on the Stan­dards Com­mit­tee’s re­port on sex­ual ha­rass­ment and in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct.

The com­mit­tee’s re­port found that a lack of con­fi­dence in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment’s poli­cies and reporting pro­ce­dures on sex­ual ha­rass­ment must be “ur­gently ad­dressed”.

Its ini­tial rec­om­men­da­tions in­cluded cre­at­ing a sin­gle pol­icy on sex­ual ha­rass­ment for ev­ery­one at par­lia­ment, hav­ing on­go­ing mon­i­tor­ing to cut sex­ual ha­rass­ment rates and in­crease reporting, and en­cour­ag­ing “pos­i­tive cul­ture change” through manda­tory train­ing and hav­ing reg­u­lar re­ports on com­plaint num­bers and re­sults.

How­ever, Ms Grant sug­gested the re­port did not go far enough. “We need to look at how an MSP can be brought to book for un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour,” she said.

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