Shropshire Star

SNP MP ‘felt ostracised’ by party after challenging sexual harassment handling

Dr Lisa Cameron said the party at Westminster has backed a staffer over her to contest the East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow seat.

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An SNP MP has said she felt “ostracised” by her party after she challenged how the leadership handled sexual harassment allegations against Patrick Grady.

Dr Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, claims her constituency’s Westminster campaign committee has backed a party worker to contest the seat at the next general election, instead of her.

The former consultant clinical psychologist told the Mirror she spoke out after former Westminster leader Ian Blackford said in a group meeting MPs should offer their “absolute full support” to Mr Grady – according to a leaked recording of the event – who was suspended from the SNP for six months over sexual harassment allegations.

Mr Grady was accused of inappropriately touching a party staff member in 2016.

Mr Grady had his SNP membership restored in December 2022 but Dr Cameron claims she questioned why the experience of the victim was not being prioritised.

In her previous NHS job, she said she often worked with victims, prompting her to argue the case during a party meeting in Westminster.

Doing so, she claims, meant people within the party “were quite hostile” towards her and would not speak to her.

Speaking to the Mirror newspaper, she said: “I was treated as if I was saying something outlandish. I was made to feel I was out of step with the party. I felt ostracised.

“After I spoke up in one of the meetings and said ‘shouldn’t we be supporting the victim?’ people were quite hostile towards me, so it wasn’t friendly.

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SNP MP Patrick Grady had his membership reinstated in December after it was removed over sexual harassment claims (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“I couldn’t go into the tea room, for instance, people wouldn’t speak to me. So, I had to have quite a lot of counselling just so I could go about my normal business in Parliament.”

Dr Cameron, who was elected in 2015, said she plans to seek the support of branch members to allow her to seek re-election, but if that fails she could return to her healthcare career.

She added: “I am philosophical about it and would probably consider my position as I can still contribute a lot to our NHS,” she said.

“But my main current aim is to secure the backing of branch members and continue to represent my home town.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said the claims were “shocking”.

She said: “As the SNP civil war deepens, Scottish Labour stands ready to deliver the change Scotland needs.

“It is simply shocking that Lisa Cameron claims to have been shunned after standing up to an SNP sex pest – it is clear that the SNP is a party that is in the gutter.

“The SNP can’t represent the people of East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow – Scottish Labour’s Joani Reid stands ready to deliver the change local people need.

“While Scots face a cost-of-living crisis, the SNP is turning its back on the people and going to war with itself.”

An SNP spokesperson said: “With a Westminster election nearing, people across Scotland will soon have the chance to vote SNP to reject Westminster’s cost-of-living crisis and elect SNP MPs who will work for the better, fairer independent future that Scotland deserves.

“A number of sitting SNP MPs will be involved in selection contests following the introduction of new constituency boundaries and it’s for local members to choose their candidate in a ballot.”

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