ANGUS Robertson has backed Ian Blackford after the SNP Westminster leader faced calls to resign over his handling of a sexual harassment case involving one of his MPs.

The Constitution Secretary insisted Blackford has been "very mindful" of the victim while warning opposition parties against "throwing very large rocks while sitting in glass houses".

Blackford has come under pressure after he was heard in a leaked recording urging the SNP group to rally behind Patrick Grady, who has been suspended for 48 hours by the party and Parliament for making an “unwanted sexual advance” on a teenager.

In a recording of a meeting to discuss the case, which was obtained by the Daily Mail and Sun, Blackford could be heard encouraging his MPs to give Grady “as much support as possible”, while other SNP group members backed that message.

Grady’s victim, who was a teenager at the time of the 2016 incident, says he was made to feel as though it was his fault and that his life had been a “living hell”. He told the Daily Record that only one of 45 SNP MPs had been in touch with him after the sexual misconduct ruling.

The National: Patrick Grady has been suspended by the SNP and Parliament for two days Patrick Grady has been suspended by the SNP and Parliament for two days

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: SNP to 'reflect' on complaints process after Patrick Grady suspension

After the recordings were released, both Scottish Labour and the Conservatives insisted Blackford should stand down.

But Robertson has rejected those calls, backing his successor as SNP Westminster leader.

Asked on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show if he thinks Blackford should quit, the Constitution Secretary said: “No I don't. And having spoken to Ian Blackford in the past about this very testing situation, I know that he is very, very mindful of the person in question who was treated inappropriately.

He added: “There must be pastoral care for people in those circumstances.”

It was pointed out to Roberston that the victim says he feels he was abandoned by the party following the complaint.

The SNP minister replied: “Well, I've said that everybody should be able to receive that [care] and, you know, it would not be appropriate for that not to have been offered but I just make the point that these very difficult situations, when one has an independent process that looks at what has been involved, on the one hand, absolutely, victims must come first, and people who've been treated inappropriately must be supported.

“But we've had an independent process that made a decision that the MP in question should be suspended for two days. And that is what has happened. He's been suspended by the SNP group at Westminster as well.”

Roberston continued: “I think there is a wider question as to when decisions are made which do not talk about career-ending situations, if that is what the conclusion is, then there has to be a way back for people while at the same time supporting people who've been treated inappropriately.

“And for that reason, I don't think that Ian Blackford should face the calls that he is, especially from political parties throwing very large rocks while sitting in glass houses.”

The parliamentary probe examined the behaviour of Grady, who was 36 at the time, towards the then-19-year-old party staff member at a 2016 SNP social event while “under the influence of alcohol”.

The Glasgow North MP “made an unwanted sexual advance to the complainant that included the touching and stroking of the complainant’s neck, hair, and back”, a report into his conduct said.