Scottish National Party accused by Catholic Church of blocking anti-abortion candidates

The Catholic Church has accused the SNP of trying to prevent individuals who oppose abortion and gender reform plans from being selected for next year’s Scottish Parliament election.

Anthony Horan, director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office in Scotland, claimed that there had been “open and vicious hostility” shown to party members who opposed abortion. He alleged that SNP officials were prepared to act against colleagues on the basis of their religious convictions, a claim that the party strongly rejects.

Mr Horan cited the case of Lisa Cameron, the MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow, who received “a significant degree of virtual and actual hostility for her belief in the right to life of the unborn, including calls by some for her deselection”.

Mr Horan raised doubts about the reassurance that the church received at that time after it raised concerns with Nicola Sturgeon. He said: “Alarmingly, recent reports suggest that religious affiliation, pro-life beliefs and the belief that gender is not fluid and changeable may lead to some individuals being excluded from the SNP candidate selection process ahead of next year’s Scottish parliament elections.