North Ayrshire’s MP has strongly denied claims of inappropriate conduct after she was named this week in connection with Westminster sexual harassment allegations being probed in the SNP.

Patricia Gibson, who has served as North Ayrshire and Arran’s SNP MP since 2015, told the Herald the allegations from a young staff member were “malicious” and “completely without foundation” but welcomed the opportunity to clear her name in a formal investigation.

Reports in the national press claimed new evidence had come to light in the internal probe surrounding alleged inappropriate behaviour from two of the parties MPs after ex chief whip Patrick Grady stepped down following similar allegations.

However Patricia Gibson said no formal complaint within parliamentary process had been made since the alleged incident in January last year - adding she believed the complainer was unwilling to do so with “the allegations being untrue”.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

She told the Herald: “I have repeatedly stated when asked that these are malicious allegations which are completely without any foundation. That remains my position.

“As I made clear when these serious allegations were first made, there are significant doubts about the source of the story. In particular, the fact that these allegations date back to January 2020, and my understanding is that the complainant was repeatedly told by the SNP the correct way to make a complaint is following the Parliamentary process, but the complainant has chosen not to do that.

“It is my position that he is unwilling to make a formal complaint because he knows the allegations are untrue and that will be the finding of any investigation.

“If there is a formal investigation into these malicious allegations then I welcome the opportunity to clear my name.

“I also understand that both Mr Smith and another Member of Parliament have confirmed to the SNP that there is no substance to allegations suggesting inappropriate sexual behaviour by me. On that basis I have nothing further to say about the purported evidence relied on by the Sun. In any event, that evidence does not name me or support the allegations being made by this complainant about me which appear to have changed over time.

“I am extremely disappointed and upset that the press has decided to name me in this story where these allegations have not been investigated and are untrue. Particularly, where there continue to be serious doubts about the complainant for the reasons I've described.”

An SNP spokesperson said: "Individuals are entitled to have complaints dealt with confidentially.

"It would be inappropriate to comment."