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Monday, March 27, 2023

SNP sex assault complainer calls on party to protect victims not alleged abusers

An SNP councillor who claims to have been sexually assaulted by his former boss Jordan Linden has demanded reforms to how the SNP handles intercourse complaints.

The 25-year-old complained to get together HQ a month in the past concerning the intercourse pest however has criticised the shortage of motion by senior figures. He stated Linden – who resigned as an SNP councillor for North Lanarkshire after the Sunday Mail revealed the claims final week – climbed into his mattress, groped and tried to kiss him whereas on a visit with the get together’s youth wing.

Eight council colleagues at the moment are calling for many who defended Linden to be suspended and investigated and for the get together to get a grip on its sexual harassment insurance policies so victims are protected as a substitute of the alleged abusers.

He stated: “There are individuals who nonetheless suppose Jordan is the sufferer. It’s utterly improper. There was no safeguarding.

“All the foundations on cope with sexual harassment complaints have been damaged.”

Jordan Linden
Jordan Linden. (Picture: Dominic Cocozza)

It’s the third time claims of sexually inappropriate behaviour have been made in opposition to Linden, 27. The person, who doesn’t need to be named, claims he was sexually assaulted by Linden on a Younger Scots for Independence (YSI) journey to Barcelona in September 2016.

The YSI is the youth wing of the SNP for members aged 16 to 30. On the time of the journey, the alleged sufferer was 18 and Linden was 21.

He stated: “It ended up as a drunk alcoholic journey for younger folks, there was nothing political to it actually. Folks had been ingesting from 12 within the afternoon until 1 or 2 at evening.

“We had been all staying in hostels, there have been seven beds within the hostel, three bunk beds and one smaller regular mattress. I used to be in there with Jordan and 4 different individuals who made the journey with us.

“We had been out late most nights, catching the final practice or underground house. One of many nights he climbed into my bunk mattress and tried to spoon me and kiss my neck unwantedly.

“It took various drive to get him off me and get the message he ought to go away. It wasn’t the state of affairs I needed to be in.

“I’m not that manner inclined. I’ve by no means been keen on that, I’m a straight man and he knew that.”

Panoramic image of Barceloneta beach in Barcelona, Catalonia. Spain
The Spanish metropolis is legendary for its stunning seashores. (Picture: Getty Photographs)

The person stated after the assault, he blamed himself and felt guilt and nervousness afterwards.

He stated: “I used to be asking if it did or didn’t occur. I believed possibly I had given him the improper impression, I had been too near him or one thing.”

The 12 months after the assault Linden and the person had been each elected to be councillors and Linden continued to harass him.

He stated: “In group conditions there have been remarks and feedback, significantly about what I’m sporting. He would say ‘these trousers are fairly tight.

“I went from sporting fits and looking out good to sporting saggy garments and hoodies to attempt to cease him from making feedback about me however it didn’t have an impact.”

Final August, the councillor stated he determined to method the SNP’s council group chief Tracey Carragher concerning the incident. His resolution got here after Sunday Mail revelations Linden had been accused of sexually harassing a younger SNP member at a flat in Dundee and 5 different males claimed they’d sexually inappropriate messages and call with Linden throughout his time within the Scottish Youth Parliament.

The councillor claims he instructed Carragher – who took over when Linden stepped down as group chief – concerning the incident however stated she urged him to contact the get together’s press workplace in case the small print had been leaked.

Linden with SNP group leader Tracey Carragher
Linden with SNP group chief Tracey Carragher.

He stated: “There was no safeguarding, no concern for me. It’s not the best way issues are speculated to be handled whenever you’re disclosing a severe incident.

“I’ve additionally not heard something again from HQ since I complained in February. The get together promised to reform how this was dealt with and it must occur now so persons are protected and brought significantly.”

Final week, we printed a secret recording of a celebration assembly which mentioned earlier allegations confirmed North Lanarkshire Council get together colleagues calling for Linden to be protected.

It was claimed discussions had taken place between former SNP chief govt Peter Murrell and the get together’s council leaders to safe the way forward for the get together group within the wake of the Linden scandal.

Eight SNP councillors have now written to the get together’s common secretary Lorna Finn, compliance officer Ian McCann and different senior figures to demand Carragher be suspended pending investigation into why she didn’t take motion on the person’s grievance.

The letter, signed by councillors Beth Baudo, Gerry Brennan, David Crichton, Paul Di Mascio, Greg Lennon, Barry McCluskey and Cameron McManus, stated they needed to “formally complain concerning the severe and continuous failings carried out by the North Lanarkshire SNP Management Group and their frequent abuse of energy”.

The group have known as for “the fast suspension” of Carragher and her deputes to “permit for a proper investigation to happen into failures to safeguard the sufferer” and “the whole dereliction of responsibility and incapability to abide by any side of the get together’s coverage on sexual harassment.”

They’ve additionally known as for the sufferer’s claims to be investigated.

Peter Murrell, former Chief Govt of the Scottish Nationwide Social gathering. (Picture: PA)

An SNP spokesman stated the get together had now contacted the alleged sufferer following our report, and stated: “The Nationwide Secretary has reached out to the complainant to supply to fulfill.

“Cllr Carragher doesn’t recognise the outline of occasions within the open letter and is evident she obtained no complaints of harassment.

The SNP’s NEC has agreed a brand new protocol for the way complaints of sexual
harassment by a member will probably be heard.”

The SNP’s Nationwide Secretary contacted the alleged sufferer yesterday. He obtained an electronic mail apologising for the delay solely after the Sunday Mail yesterday questioned why the get together had not supplied assist.

Linden didn’t reply to requests for remark however beforehand denied the person’s claims.

Makes an attempt had been made to contact Carragher for remark.

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