SNP MP Lisa Cameron fears deselection after voting against Northern Ireland abortion reform

An SNP MP fears she will be deselected by party “bullies” after she voted against plans for Westminster to impose the legalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland.

Sunday, 14th July 2019, 5:18 pm
SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron has been the victim of threats and abuse since the House of Commons vote on abotion legislation in Northern Ireland

Dr Lisa Cameron, who has twice been elected in East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, became distressed as 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.”

Dr Cameron, a consultant clinical psychologist and married mother of two young daughters, has been subjected to a torrent of vile abuse on social media since the House of Commons vote.

And in a Campaign SNP Facebook account party activists have condemned the MP and openly called for her to be sacked in the current selection process.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The MP said: “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.”

Internal criticism of Dr Cameron, who regularly attends the Church of Scotland, has been led by Bill Mills, a former SNP convener in South Lanarkshire and who now works voluntarily for party HQ.

Commenting on a constituency Facebook site closed to the public he stated that he had been “utterly disgusted” by the MP’s actions.

He accused Dr Cameron of making an “attempt to impose her religious beliefs on the women of Northern Ireland” and added: “She has every right to hold whatever beliefs she chooses. She cannot, however, expect anything other than the withdrawal of support by those who supported and voted for her.”

Dr Cameron’s views on abortion were partly shaped by her own tragic experience of undergoing two very late-term miscarriages.

She said: “I lost both those babies – they were much loved babies to me.”

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

He said: “Vilification is now routinely used as a tactic by pro-abortion advocates to crush debate and invite hateful attacks on those with a differing opinion. Those who believe in democracy need to expose the culprits responsible and defend genuine democratic values.”

The SNP said that while ordinary party members may disagree with the actions of an SNP MP, they “should do so respectfully”.

A spokesperson added: “As has been long-standing 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.”