Lisa Cameron, the MP for East Kilbride, has defected to the Conservative party after she accused the SNP of a “toxic and bullying” culture.
She hit out at the SNP Westminster group for failing to reach out during a period in which she suffered a “significant deterioration” in her “health and wellbeing”, something she suggests came as a result of “bullying”.
She says she was the “victim of abuse at the hands of an SNP MP” and adds that the “leadership supported the perpetrator’s interests”.
She also praised praised Rishi Sunak for “valuing my continued contribution to Parliament as a health professional”.
Her defection comes days before the SNP annual conference gets underway in Aberdeen. The get-together, taking place from Sunday 15 October to Tuesday 17 October 2023, is scheduled to be dominated by independence strategy.
Speaking to the Scottish Daily Mail, Ms Cameron said: “I do not feel able to continue in what I have experienced as a toxic and bullying SNP Westminster group, which resulted in my requiring counselling for a period of 12 months in Parliament and caused significant deterioration in my health and wellbeing as assessed by my GP including the need for antidepressants.
“I will never regret my actions in standing up for a victim of abuse at the hands of an SNP MP last year, but I have no faith remaining in a party whose leadership supported the perpetrator’s interests over that of the victims and who have shown little to no interest in acknowledging or addressing the impact.
“It is also true that I have received no contact from party leadership in the past weeks, despite members of every other main political party contacting me to offer support and compassion during what has been an extremely difficult time.
“I am particularly grateful to the Prime Minister in valuing my continued contribution to Parliament as a health professional and in taking time to listen. It is the first time I have felt heard and shows positive, inclusive leadership in contrast to that which I have encountered in the SNP at Westminster over many years”.
She added in comments obtained exclusively by the Scottish Daily Mail: “Families like mine experienced significant division regarding the issue of Independence. This has taken its toll and I have come to the conclusion that it is more helpful to focus my energies upon constructive policies that benefit everyone across the four nations of the UK, and to move towards healing these divisions for the collective good.
“Being in the SNP has been bad for my health. I will be taking time as advised to recuperate and will continue as always to focus upon serving my constituents.
“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me who wishes to see a politics where victim blaming, and abuse is never tolerated”.
Politics.co.uk is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.