An MP, who has previously faced death threats and potential deselection from her party for holding pro-life views, has announced she has left the Scottish National Party and will be joining the Conservative party due to “toxic and bullying” treatment from her colleagues.
The now-former SNP MP, Dr Lisa Cameron, made the announcement today after revealing her deteriorating mental health has led her to start taking antidepressants.
The MP 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”.
She also expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for his support. Her leaving the SNP comes before the SNP conference later this month.
Death threats for voting pro-life
Aside from disagreements Cameron had with her former party about Scottish independence, disagreements have also arisen due to her pro-life views. In 2020, she was the only member of her party to vote against an abortion buffer zone bill.
In 2018, she was one of only two SNP MPs to vote against forcing abortion on Northern Ireland. She revealed her office received more than 900 messages, including “abuse” and “cyberbullying” after she voted against the amendment.
Her pro-life views have made her the subject of at least one death threat. Speaking to Christian Today after the abortion buffer zone vote in 2020, she said “I am concerned by the actions of those who have whipped up hatred and toxic aggression online in recent weeks following from my conscience votes on abortion and particularly distressed to have once again received a death threat towards my family”.
After her opposition to imposing abortion on Northern Ireland, the MP revealed her concern that she would be deselected from the party for her vote.
In 2019, ahead of the general election, Cameron was the only SNP MP who was not reselected for the SNP’s list of approved candidates. At the time, the MP for the Scottish National Party voiced her concern that her opposition to lifting Northern Ireland’s abortion ban was the reason for this.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said “It is a disgrace that Dr Cameron felt she was bullied to the extent that she had serious mental health difficulties. If this bullying was partly the result of her pro-life views, it is made even worse. MPs should be free to express their pro-life views without implications on their health and wellbeing”.