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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Hannah Rodger

Calls for probe into youth charity after Lanarkshire councillor accused of sexual misconduct

Calls have been made for an investigation into a scandal-hit youth charity following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Claims have been made that SNP North Lanarkshire councillor Jordan Linden sexually harassed several young men and a teenager when he was leader of the Scottish Youth Parliament. MSP Meghan Gallagher has now called for a review into the parliament, with the Scottish Tories wanting the age range at the organisation – currently 14 to 24 – to be looked at.

Linden was forced to quit as leader of North Lanarkshire Council after the Sunday Mail revealed claims that he had sexually harassed a young SNP member after a Pride march in 2019. Several men have since come forward with further allegations of misconduct, claiming they were brushed aside by the Scottish Youth Parliament.

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The organisation is now carrying out a review into its handling of the 2016 complaints, which was criticised by the alleged victims. Gallagher, a Central Scotland Tory MSP, has written to Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack asking him to step in and push for reform.

She wrote: “While the SYP is an independent charity, it receives significant funding from the Scottish Government and, for many young people, their involvement in this organisation will be a formative experience which will influence their decision to continue to pursue a career in politics.”

Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Gallagher added: “The culture of abuse, bullying and sexual harassment at the Scottish Youth Parliament is extremely serious and it’s clear to me that robust reforms are needed to root out this unacceptable behaviour and ensure the safety and wellbeing of youngsters.”

A spokesman from the Scottish Youth Parliament said two of its trustees had met Gallagher earlier this month.

He said: “Meghan didn’t raise such serious concerns and said she was reassured by our response, policies and the review that is now ongoing – so we’re surprised and disappointed to read these comments.”


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