Exclusive:SNP bullying row erupts after party figures dismiss Dr Lisa Cameron’s claim she’s been ostracised by Westminster group
The East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow MP claims colleagues changed how they treated her after she suggested there should be more support for the victim of Patrick Grady after he was found guilty of sexual misconduct by a Westminster standards watchdog.
Speaking this week, she accused the party of having a "cover-up and denial" mentality, and believes the party is trying to force her out as she faces a selection battle.
Dr Cameron also claimed both Ian Blackford and Stephen Flynn had failed to check on her heath, despite being told she was in counselling.
She added: "I’m not saying people should have to speak to someone if they don’t wish to, but it felt very much like a group bullying mentality, almost like a sort of team bully.”Her claims however have enraged others in the party, who denied any bullying, and suggested they were only emerging due to a battle for reselection.
One SNP source said: "She has not been victimised or ostracised, she has shown zero interest in anything to do with the group, or the collegiate nature of the group. It’s amazing that all of this has come to light now that she is facing a reselection.
“This is entirely fictitious, and is not how the SNP does business. It may be how she does business, it may be the impression that she wants to give, but it's fictitious”.
Dr Cameron faces a challenge from party worker Grant Costello to contest the seat at the coming general election. The incumbent has threatened to take legal action after claims personal data had been used inappropriately during the contest, and also threatened to resign her seat if not reselected, forcing a by-election.
Mr Grady was found by an independent panel to have touched and stroked the neck, hair and back of a colleague 17 years his junior at a social event in 2016.
Another SNP source also criticised the clinical psychologist.
“All this stuff about folk ostracising her, she’s always chatting away with other MPs, I’ve never seen any sign of that.
“You can’t say there wasn’t support for people in the process, everyone was supported."Lots of members have to go through the selection process, you don't see them threatening by-elections".
Responding, Dr Cameron accused the party of “doubling down” on bullying, and claimed colleagues were making “unfounded accusations”.
She said: “I am not shocked that the party has doubled down on denial and victim blaming in this situation but there are 12 months plus of counselling records to confirm my account.
“Party leadership were aware I have been attending welfare services and it is appalling that anyone dismiss the trauma of those who experience bullying for standing against sexual harassment, as fictitious.
“I am not surprised unfounded accusations are now being made by those involved as that is the behaviour to be expected of bullies.”
The Scotsman understands Dr Cameron has a difficult relationship with some in her local party and the sitting MSP in the area, Collette Stevenson, backed Mr Costello on social media, as did the previous incumbent for Holyrood, Linda Fabiani.
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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