In an unprecedented move, Lisa Cameron walked out of the SNP ranks to join their political rivals on the eve of the party conference in Aberdeen.
The MP for East Kilbride faced being deselected as a general election candidate after repeatedly clashing with her local constituency party over several issues, including her stance on abortion.
Cameron today justified her decision to join the Tories because of “a toxic and bullying SNP Westminster group”.
“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 well-being as assessed by my GP including the need for antidepressants,” she told the Daily Mail.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, left, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Lisa Cameron to the Conservative Party.
“Like many ex-SNP supporters, she has realised that her former party is hopelessly divided under Humza Yousaf and incapable of focusing on the real priorities of the Scottish people.
“Lisa took a principled stand in supporting the victim in the Patrick Grady case, when her party took the side of the disgraced MP. For doing so, she has been shamefully and inexplicably mistreated by the SNP.
“I look forward to working with Lisa, who recognises the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister are focused on the issues that matter to people in Scotland and across the UK.”
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Murray MP, right, said: “This bizarre move shows that the SNP is falling apart before our eyes.
“The fact is that the SNP and the Tories are two sides of the same coin – putting the cause of division before the needs of the people.
“While the SNP and Tories compete to out-do each other in incompetence, Labour is focused on rebuilding our country and getting Britain its future back.
“Only a Scottish Labour MP will give the people of her constituency the fresh start they deserve.”
Rishi Sunak welcomed Cameron’s decision to join his party and described her as a “brave and committed constituency MP”.