A Tory MP has stepped down ahead of next month’s general election after allegations he “groped” another politician at a bar in Westminster.
Ross Thompson, the Tory candidate for Aberdeen South, said allegations made against him by Paul Sweeney, the Labour MP for Glasgow North East, had made his life a “living hell”.
Mr Sweeney said he was speaking out about the alleged incident because he feared no action will be taken before next month’s general election.
He has now referred his allegations to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
Mr Thomson, who led Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party leadership campaign in Scotland, insisted the claims by the Labour politician were “false and defamatory”.
He said he was the victim of a “political smear”, and while he said he would fight to clear his name, Mr Thomson said he would not be seeking re-election.
He 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.
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“It has been a level of abuse that 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 that our politics is now so poisonous that 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 that I will stand down as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Aberdeen South.”
His comments came after the Scottish Mail On Sunday reported Mr Sweeney had “felt paralysed” during an alleged incident in the Strangers’ Bar in Westminster in October last year.
The Glasgow North East MP told the paper: “It was just such a shocking thing. I was in a cold sweat, it was mortifying.”
A spokesman for Mr Sweeney said: “This assault, which took place last October, was reported to the appropriate authorities after similar but entirely separate allegations were made by other men against Ross Thomson in February.
“In light of the failure of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to resolve this matter before the General Election Mr Sweeney feels it is important that voters in Thomson’s constituency should be aware of his behaviour as their representative at Westminster.”