Scottish National Party MP John Nicolson has been cleared of cyber-bullying Tory MP and Talk TV presenter Nadine Dorries, following a six-month inquiry.
The SNP’s culture spokesman is understood to have been cleared by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS), following a string of tweets relating to Dorries.
In the tweets, Nicolson criticised Dorries – who was culture secretary at the time – and also “liked” others which described her as a “horrible disgusting woman” and a “mendacious, vacuous Tory goon,” as well as being “thick as two short planks”.
Details of the case have not been made public, due to confidentiality agreements both politicians had to sign, but documents seen by Politico suggest that the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire was cleared of any misconduct earlier this month.
As the political news outlet reported, Nicolson was investigated over Twitter activity which took place in November 2021, following a Commons select committee session where Dorries gave evidence.
During the hearing, the pair engaged in a fiery exchange – with Nicolson questioning the Mid Bedfordshire MP’s use of Twitter – and when the session finished, he went on to like or retweet at least 25 different posts about her.
Dorries did not refer John Nicolson to the ICGS over the tweets until a year later, in October 2022, after she left her Cabinet role.
This is the first case of a British politician being investigated for allegedly cyberbullying another MP, and Dorries can now decide whether or not to appeal the ruling.
In a comment shared widely in the media, a House of Commons spokesperson said: “Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) operates on the basis of confidentiality for the benefit of all parties.
“Therefore, we cannot provide any information on any complaint, including whether or not a complaint has been received.”
Nicolson is the subject of an on-going, separate investigation by the privileges committee.
He has been accused of a “clear breach” of parliamentary rules by tweeting details of a letter sent by speaker of the house, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
The ICGS was established in 2018 with the aim of cracking down on misconduct in parliament.
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