Major Shock As SNP MP Quits Party To Join The Tories

Lisa Cameron hit out at the "toxic and bullying" SNP group at Westminster.
Lisa Cameron was first elected in 2015
Lisa Cameron was first elected in 2015
UK Parliament

An SNP has quit the party to join the Conservatives in a major political shock.

Lisa Cameron blamed the “toxic and bullying SNP Westminster group” for the decision, which she announced this morning.

She also praised Rishi Sunak for “taking time to listen” to her concerns, which she had left her needing anti-depressants.

The prime minister described Cameron as “a brave and committed constituency MP” and said he was delighted she had decided to cross the floor.

The stunning development is a major boost for Sunak and yet another blow for beleaguered SNP leader Humza Yousaf.

It also comes just a week after Labour defeated the SNP to win the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.

Cameron was elected the SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow in 2015, but has been at odds with the party in recent months over its response to sexual misconduct allegations against Patrick Grady MP.

A Commons investigation last year found he had engaged in “unwanted physical touching” with “sexual intent” towards a member of staff.

Cameron’s decision was announced just hours before she was due to find out whether she would be an SNP candidate in next year’s election.

One SNP MP told HuffPost UK that she had been “on Tory defection watch since before the pandemic”.

In a statement this morning, 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.”

Sunak said: “I am delighted that Lisa Cameron has decided to join the Conservatives. She is a brave and committed constituency MP.

“I look forward to working with her on the disability issues she has championed so passionately and on the issues that really matter to her constituents.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: “Like many former SNP supporters, she has realised that her former party is hopelessly divided under Humza Yousaf and incapable of focusing on the real priorities of the Scottish people.

“Lisa took a principled stand in supporting the victim in the Patrick Grady case, when her party took the side of the disgraced MP. For doing so, she has been shamefully and inexplicably mistreated by the SNP.

“I look forward to working with Lisa, who recognises the Conservative Party and the prime minister are focused on the issues that matter to people in Scotland and across the UK.”


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