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Tory MP Ross Thompson quits after being accused of groping Labour’s Paul Sweeney

Nick Duffy November 3, 2019
Ross Thompson (right) quit after allegations he had sexually assaulted Paul Sweeney (left)

Ross Thompson (right) quit after allegations he had sexually assaulted Paul Sweeney (left)

Conservative MP Ross Thompson has announced he will stand down, after he was accused of groping a Labour MP in a Parliamentary bar.

Glasgow North East Labour MP Paul Sweeney had spoken out about the issue on Sunday, revealing that he reported the Conservative MP to Parliament’s standards watchdog over the incident at Strangers’ Bar inside Parliament.

Thompson, the out MP for Aberdeen South, denies any wrongdoing and dismissed the claims as a “political smear.”

However, he announced on Sunday that he will not run in December 12’s snap election following the claims.

Tory MP Ross Thompson quits over sexual assault allegations

Thompson said in a statement: “This is a political smear and I will continue to fight to clear my name. I will see this investigatory process through to a conclusion.

“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 that I never imagined possible.”

“I have therefore made the most difficult decision that I could ever make. I have decided that I will stand down as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Aberdeen South.”

Paul Sweeney: I didn’t want to make a fuss

Speaking to the Scottish Daily Mail, Sweeney had alleged that a drunken Thompson had fondled him and thrust a hand down the front of his trousers during the October 2018 incident.

He told the newspaper: “I felt paralysed. It was just such a shocking thing. I was in a cold sweat, it was mortifying.

“Nobody knew where to look at the table. It’s embarrassing. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that if I just punched the guy, who knows where that could end up when there’s a bar full of journalists.”

Glasgow North East MP Paul Sweeney
Glasgow North East MP Paul Sweeney (Ken Jack/Getty)

Sweeney added: “I sat on this for ages because I didn’t want to make a fuss out of it… I never wanted to be the guy who was groped by Ross Thomson. I had a willingness to sort of let this go because if he had acknowledged he was wrong it might have been OK.”

However, he submitted a formal complaint in February after Thompson faced further public allegations that he had groped three men in a Parliamentary bar.

The MP added that he “can’t get away from” Thompson, who he still sees in the House of Commons chamber, while the two MPs’ offices are on the same corridor.

He said: “He’s not fit to hold public office. I don’t think he’s fit to be a Member of Parliament.”

More: parliament, Paul Sweeney, Ross Thompson

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