SNP MP Lisa Cameron announced today that she has defected to the Tories over “toxic and bullying” treatment from colleagues, the Daily Mail reports. Last month she failed to mention her party affiliation anywhere on her campaign literature. Long time coming?
She thanked Rishi Sunak for his support in recent weeks. She also claimed “being in the SNP has been bad for my health“. Hardly the headlines the SNP were hoping for going into conference…
UPDATE: Rishi has released a statement welcoming his newest MP to fold:
“I am delighted that Lisa Cameron has decided to join the Conservatives. She is a brave and committed constituency MP. Lisa is right that we should aim to do politics better, with more empathy and less division and a dedication to always doing what we think is right.
I look forward to working with her on the disability issues she has championed so passionately in parliament, and on the issues that really matter to her constituents in East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.
“Her decision is a sign that we are the party for those who will make constructive, long term decisions for a brighter future for the whole of the UK.”
Read her full statement below:
“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.
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.”