WOMEN MSPs arriving at Holyrood for the first time are warned of a “creep squad” of male colleagues, according to female politicians.
A Scottish Parliament survey found that one in three women at Holyrood said they had experienced sexual harassment or sexist behaviour.
A breakdown of the figures revealed 13 MSPs had experienced sexual harassment, nine of whom said the perpetrator was another MSP.
The Sunday Post has spoken to several female MSPs who have lifted the lid on the types of behaviour which they and their colleagues have had to put up with in the parliament.
This includes suggestive comments, sexual advances and lewd jokes.
The problem is cross party, say insiders, who claim there are certain MSPs who women are warned not to sit next to at committees or to get into lifts with.
One MSP, who asked not be named, said: “You get warned who the creep squad is fairly early on.
“I’ve had one ‘over hugging’ incident but others have had it worse. It’s often a power thing and guys trying to taking advantage of party loyalty or ambition.”
The Scottish Parliament study found that, in 40% of cases of sexual harassment, staff had done nothing about it.
In 45% of all cases, the perpetrator was an MSP, while in 40% of incidents it was a member of parliament staff.
Labour MSP Monica Lennon, who last year revealed she was groped by a senior Labour figure at a function, said: “The results of this survey mirror what happens in so many workplaces, it is not about sex, it is about power.”
SNP MSP Linda Fabiani, who was first elected in 1999, said: “MSPs should be leading by example and the reports of sexual harassment from fellow MSPs is very disappointing.”