AN SNP minister has urged members to oust their sitting MP in favour of a member of party staff.

Culture Minister Christina McKelvie, also the MSP for Hamilton in South Lanarkshire, has backed Grant Costello in his bid to unseat the sitting MP for East Kilbride.

Lisa Cameron is facing down Costello’s challenge to hold onto her seat and has accused the SNP’s Westminster group of bullying.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has rejected Cameron’s claims. She has spoken of suffering panic attacks because of the alleged treatment of her colleagues in the Commons.

Costello has the backing of Collette Stevenson, the current MSP for East Kilbride and her predecessor Linda Fabiani.

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He has worked in the SNP Westminster group’s digital marketing department since leaving university in 2015.

Announcing her support for Costello, McKelvie said: “I have known Grant for many years, I have campaigned alongside him on many issues.

“He has a proven track record of campaigning on the issues that matter to the people of East Kilbride and Strathaven.

“His campaign alongside the Scottish Youth Parliament to change the voting franchise for 16 and 17 year-olds for Scottish elections changed democracy for our young people, now that’s the kind of MP I want to work with in the years to come.”

The National:

Cameron (above), who worked as a clinical psychologist before entering politics, has held East Kilbride for the SNP since 2015.

She has found herself at odds with the party, citing her anti-abortion views when questioned about voting against proposals to ban protests outside abortion clinics in England and Wales in 2020.

Cameron was also deeply critical of the SNP’s support for Patrick Grady when he was suspended from the Commons after being found to have made unwanted sexual advanced on a younger staff member.

She told the Scottish Daily Mail the behaviour of fellow MPs changed after she spoke out on behalf of the staff member who was harassed by Grady.

The party leadership at the time “basically issued a directive to support the perpetrator”, she claimed adding that she had wanted the party to take a “victim-led approach”.

She said: “Basically, the SNP gave me panic attacks.”

In response to her claims, Flynn said: “The comments that have been made in relation to the group don’t reflect my experience of the situation down in Westminster.

“If Lisa wants to discuss that with me she is more than welcome to do so.”