AN SNP MP has reportedly threatened to take legal action against the party amid a row over the selection process for the next Westminster election. 

Branch officials in East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow were contacted by Dr Lisa Cameron's lawyers last week after an email was sent to members alerting them to an alleged potential misuse of personal data, it is understood. 

Two sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed the legal threat to The Herald. 

It is the latest development in an increasingly contentious selection process after Cameron threatened to force a by-election if party members did not back her to be the candidate at the next General Election.

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It comes as First Minister Humza Yousaf said it was important that the SNP's Westminster hopefuls follow the party's rules at a by-election event in Cambuslang on Monday. 

The email from the branch secretary that sparked the legal threat  — seen by The Herald — did not mention the incumbent MP or other candidates involved in the selection process by name.

It reportedly said that the local party had “been made aware that some members are being approached at home by people they do not know asking them to nominate a potential candidate.”

They suggested this could break guidelines governing data use, but the "potential candidate" was not named.

The National: The party’s rules state that: "No candidate, or other person supporting a candidate, may make use of membership data... to advance a candidacy or share membership data... in any way not authorised by the Party's Data Protection Officer."

It is understood the email ended: “Given that such an approach may be in breach of the party's rules, please do email me if you are approached at home and do not know how the person became aware that you are a party member.”

Party HQ is now investigating the complaints, a second email seen by The Herald confirmed. 

It said that if the complaints were substantiated, “the candidate concerned should be removed from the party's approved list of candidates.”

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Under SNP rules there are two ways for approved candidates to contest a selection. They can either secure the backing of 50 activists, or they can win the support of the local Westminster Campaign Committee (WCC), comprising all the local branches in the constituency.

In East Kilbride and Strathaven, the committee backed Grant Costello, a local activist who works as the SNP’s  Digital Media Manager.

Cameron was offered the opportunity to speak to the committee but chose not to do so.

However, she did secure the 50 signatures needed before Thursday’s deadline.

The National: Dr Lisa Cameron MP

Local members will now be asked to choose between Cameron and Costello before the internal ballot closes on October 12 with the first hustings in the contest due to take place over Zoom tonight.

In the second email, the WCC said that Cameron had not applied to them for a nomination.

They said they had interviewed potential candidates and “unanimously agreed to nominate Grant Costello as the candidate to represent the SNP at the forthcoming General Election.”

“No authorisation has been granted for the use of membership data in the nomination process," the email added. 

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In an interview with the Mirror, Cameron suggested she was being ousted by local members because of her support for the teenage victim of Patrick Grady.

First Minister Humza Yousaf and the SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn were asked about the claims during a campaign stop in Cambuslang.

Yousaf told journalists: “I haven't spoken to Lisa Cameron. Look, we're in the middle of selection contests, I would say to any of those who are interested to make sure that they do so obviously by the rules.

“Make sure that they have a robust debate in the best traditions of our party.

The National:

“It will really be up to local branches to make a decision and local members to make a decision of who they want to represent them at the upcoming generation. “

Flynn said he had not spoken to Dr Cameron since he had dinner with her in Westminster earlier this month.

“The comments that are being made in relation to the group don't reflect my experience of the situation down in Westminster," he said. 

“Obviously, if Lisa wants to discuss that further with me she's more than welcome to do so."

Costello declined to comment. 

Cameron, meanwhile, has been approached for comment.