FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has said he is not surprised by Lisa Cameron's defection to the Tories.

The former SNP MP announced her decision to move across the benches on Thursday morning, ahead of an expected announcement that she had not been selected by her local branch to contest her current East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow seat, which she has held since 2015.

We told how the SNP called on Cameron to stand down and trigger a by-election, while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was "delighted" by the defection. 

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And now, the First Minister has spoken following the news.

The Courier reported that, asked if he was surprised by Cameron's decision, Yousaf said: “Not at all, it was probably the least surprising news frankly that I’ve had as First Minister and party leader in the last six months.

“For me, Lisa Cameron by her own admission was facing a very difficult selection contest and now we know why.

“It’s clear that the people of her constituency, they voted for an SNP MP. They did not vote for a Conservative MP.

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“Lisa Cameron should do the honourable thing and step down. It would be the right thing to do.”

Yousaf added: “To see somebody who claims to have supported Scottish independence cross the floor to the Conservative and Unionist Party betrays the fact that she probably never believed in the cause in the first place.”

We told how SNP members were urged to support Grant Costello in his bid to contest the seat for the party, including by MSPs in the local area, rather than Cameron.

Cameron had threatened to quit and trigger a by-election if she was not selected by the party to stand but instead moved over to the Tory benches.

The SNP released a statement and said local members would be "appalled" that they are now represented by a Tory MP.

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We told how SNP MPs reacted furiously to the news, adding: “This is exactly why the local party wanted her out.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish Conservatives openly celebrated the move, which now gives them seven MPs north of the border. 

Douglas Ross claimed she had "realised that her former party is hopelessly divided under Humza Yousaf and incapable of focusing on the real priorities of the Scottish people".

And, we told how Cameron's husband, an SNP councillor in South Lanarkshire, is reportedly stepping back from his duties in the wake of the defection row.