THE Bishop of Paisley has waded into a row over an MP facing deselection, which she says is linked to her to opposition to abortion.

The SNP’s Dr Lisa Cameron is now the party’s only sitting member of the Westminster Parliament not to have been approved as a candidate for the forthcoming General Election. She says it is likely she will have to face an open contest for the seat.

Cameron was one of just two SNP MPs to vote against lifting Northern Ireland’s abortion ban in the Commons last July.

Writing on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Bishop John Keenan from the Diocese of Paisley shared news of Cameron’s possible deselection and said: “After the First Minister’s assurance to the Scottish Bishops that no MP would be deselected from the SNP list of candidates on account of their pro-life beliefs, one really wonders what on Earth to make of this!”

Cameron then replied to his Facebook status thanking him for “highlighting this matter”.

She added: “I will find out tonight if I am to face an open contest for my seat which is likely after local officials encouraged members to withdraw all support from me after the vote.

“I am upset but undeterred nevertheless.”

Earlier this year, writing in the Daily Mail, Cameron said activists in South Lanarkshire wanted to replace her with another candidate “more in line with SNP values”.

READ MORE: Bishops appeal to Nicola Sturgeon to stand by MP Lisa Cameron

The East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow MP, who has a background as a clinical psychologist, claimed she had been “deluged” by thousands of comments abusing her since she voted against the change to the province’s laws.

The MP said she had been sent pictures of rape scenes and of aborted babies. “I was told in no uncertain terms that, as a Christian, I should keep my views to myself in all votes of conscience,” Cameron wrote. “It was suggested that if I was not able to do that, then I should use others’ conscience as a marker, not my own (because someone else’s conscience was presumably better equipped?).

“I was even told I was no longer suitable to be a politician and to represent the people of the town where I grew up.”

She continued: “As a result, my deselection is now being actively voiced by local officials in South Lanarkshire, who say they want to install another candidate who is ‘more in line with SNP values’.

“I thought I was. I believe in democracy, social inclusion and religious freedom. Surely these are values we should all hold.”

The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, has since written to the First Minister asking for a public reassurance that it was not “incompatible to hold pro-life views and be a SNP MP candidate”.

In her reply Sturgeon said: “No-one is ever asked about their religious views when seeking to be a candidate and no-one is ever prevented from being a candidate because of their religious views.”

She added: “I would like to be especially clear on one point. No MP would face deselection as a result of their vote last week. Whatever an individual member might think about an issue, the SNP has clear procedures which govern the selection of candidates, and the decision on who a candidate is in a constituency is one that all members locally have an equal say in.”

Cameron was in Westminster yesterday alongside the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) to present a petition from people in Northern Ireland opposed to the change in abortion laws.

Neither the SNP nor Cameron responded to multiple requests from The National for a comment.

At a meeting of the SNP’s ruling National Executive Committee on Saturday, Joanna Cherry and Chris Stephens were approved to defend their seats.

According to a report in the Times it was not a unanimous decision, with around a third of board members declining to vote in support of the two politicians.