• STV
  • MySTV

MP fears being 'ousted' after voting against abortion

The SNP's Lisa Cameron said her office had received hundreds of abusive messages.

Concerns: Dr Lisa Cameron believes she will be deselected by the SNP.
Concerns: Dr Lisa Cameron believes she will be deselected by the SNP. Chris McAndrew / Pixabay

A SNP MP said she fears she will be deselected by the party after she voted against the legalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland.

Dr Lisa Cameron, who represents East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, said her office had received more than 900 messages, including "abuse" and "cyber bullying" after her stance sparked an angry reaction from some.

She has raised the abuse she received with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon - but said she has not yet received any response from the SNP leader.

It comes after Dr Cameron and her party colleague, Peter Grant, both voted against lifting the ban on abortion in Northern Ireland when the issue came before the House of Commons this week.

While the matter was a free vote, for individuals to decide how to vote in line with their own conscience, Ms Sturgeon earlier made clear that if she was in Westminster she would vote in favour of "women's right to choose".

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, and other MPs such as Hannah Bardell and Joanna Cherry, went public with their support for the controversial measure - which was passed by 332 votes to 99.

Dr Cameron, a consultant clinical psychologist whose anti-abortion stance is due in part to having suffered two miscarriages, now fears she will be prevented from standing again for the seat, which she first won in 2015.

'I didn't rebel or vote against the party whip. And yet now it's virtually certain that abusive party activists will make sure I'm deselected and lose the job I love.'
Lisa Cameron MP

She said: "It was a free vote, a conscience vote. I didn't rebel or vote against the party whip. And yet now it's virtually certain that abusive party activists will make sure I'm deselected and lose the job I love."

The MP added: "The attacks on me have been nothing less than vitriolic. One individual threatened to come over and 'abort me'. I tagged this to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to let her see what was being written.

"But I am sad to say that I have as yet received no response. I hope I will receive support from the party hierarchy soon.

"I'm getting all this abuse but no one in the party will call out the abusers. In a few short days my life has been turned on its head and it looks like I will be ousted. The situation is very serious."

She has also written to SNP MP Patrick Grady, who is the party's chief whip at Westminster, who confirmed to her "a free vote was in place in order that members could vote with their conscience, and that the reason conscience votes exist is for areas where there can't be a defined party policy".

But Dr Cameron said she fears it may "now incompatible to hold pro-life views and be a SNP MP, candidate, to pass vetting or be elected in any capacity" - adding that this would make her position "untenable".

She added: "I am being told by local officials that voting according to my conscience on a free vote means I have no place being elected in the SNP.

"I find this outrageous but I have to say it is also extremely sad for Scotland."

'As has been longstanding practice in the SNP, votes on this issue are conscience votes for elected members, meaning it is entirely up to the individual member how they vote. No one is failed at assessment because of their religious views.'
SNP spokesman

John Deighan, chief executive of pro-life campaign group the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), condemned the treatment of the MP.

He said: "It greatly troubles me that abortion advocates have radicalised politics in such a way that they have undermined our democracy.

"The persecution of an elected politician for voting in a way they don't like exposes the depth of their intolerance. It's a disgraceful and unacceptable position that has been deliberately cultivated."

A SNP spokesman said: "As has been longstanding practice in the SNP, votes on this issue are conscience votes for elected members, meaning it is entirely up to the individual member how they vote.

"No one is failed at assessment because of their religious views. Ordinary party members may disagree with the actions of a SNP parliamentarian, but they should do so respectfully."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.