AN SNP MP has taken an “in-kind” donation from an anti-abortion, anti-same-sex marriage evangelical lobby group which is currently campaigning for the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime Bill to be abandoned.

According to the most recent update to the Register of Interests, Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) is paying for a member of its graduate leadership programme to work in the office of East Kilbride MP Dr Lisa Cameron.

The group says its scheme provides “talented Christian graduates, who have a desire to serve the Lord in public life, the opportunity to experience a year in Parliament or a policy-shaping NGO.”

However, while the leadership programme “gives a unique insight into Parliament, political advocacy and Christian leadership,” it makes clear that the interns “do not work for CARE and are neither asked nor permitted to lobby on behalf of CARE”.

The faith group’s scheme has been controversial in recent years.

A number of politicians cut ties with CARE in 2012 after it emerged that the group sponsored a conference promoting the idea that gay people were “sexually broken” and could be converted to heterosexuality.

CARE has long insisted that it does not support gay cure.

It said that it only donated £500 to an event at which “speakers addressed the issue of homosexuality in a Christian context”.

On its website, the group says it is passionately pro-life.

It says it is also “committed to the view that understands marriage to be the voluntary union between one man and one woman, for life, forsaking all others”.

“While to some this may seem old-fashioned, we believe this is the way marriage was intended,” it adds.

It has recently been involved in campaigning against the Scottish Government’s controversial Hate Crime Bill, describing it as unnecessary, saying it could lead to Christians being “censored for holding orthodox, Christian beliefs”.

It has also called on supporters to write to MSPs urging ministers to “abandon the bill and work to strengthen the existing laws, for example, by focusing on aggravated offences rather than introducing new and self-standing offences”.

The group was also instrumental in the collapse of the Named Person’s scheme. It described it as “creepy”, saying it would “undermine the rights of parents to raise their children in accordance with their values and beliefs”.

CARE were co-petitioners in legal action, taking ministers through the courts, in a case that ultimately cost the taxpayer at least half a million pounds.

Dr Cameron told The Sunday National: “I won’t comment on money the Scottish Government spends on various court challenges as these internships have been cross-party at Holyrood for years supporting the development of young people including SNP politicians, and others”.

It’s not clear which other SNP politicians have had a CARE intern.

According to Holyrood’s register of interests, Tory MSP Murdo Fraser has had two stints where leadership programme graduates worked for him.

CARE has also previously had interns in the offices of Labour’s Rhoda Grant, and LibDem leader Willie Rennie. Labour’s David Stewart currently has another of the group’s interns working for him.