Scottish minister backs SNP staffer challenging sitting MP's seat

The current MP, Lisa Cameron, has said she felt ‘ostracised’ from the party.

Scottish minister backs internal SNP challenger to sitting MP in East Kilbride and Strathaven PA Media

A Scottish Government minister has given her backing to an SNP staffer challenging for the seat of a sitting MP.

Culture minister Christina McKelvie is supporting Grant Costello to fight the newly-formed East Kilbride and Strathaven seat at the next election.

Costello is currently engaged in a contest with MP Lisa Cameron, who currently represents East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.

The minister joined East Kilbride MSP Collette Stevenson, who this week also expressed her support for the party staffer.

Christina McKelvie said she supports Grant Costello to be the SNP candidate in the seat.PA Media

In a statement posted by Mr Costello on X, formerly Twitter, McKelvie – who represents the nearby Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse constituency at Holyrood – 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.

“That’s why I’m backing Grant.”

Lisa Cameron is the current MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.Richard Townshend

Costello was a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament and worked as an intern at the Herald newspaper during the 2015 election before starting work for the SNP, where he is now a digital media manager, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He has also garnered support from former East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani, who served as a minister under Alex Salmond, as well as a deputy presiding officer and the convener of the parliamentary inquiry into the handling of harassment complaints against Salmond.

The contest comes as Dr Cameron claimed last week she had been “ostracised” by SNP colleagues at Westminster, accusing them of “group bullying” which had led to her suffering panic attacks.

The issue started, she claims, when she spoke out on behalf of the party staff member harassed by MP Patrick Grady.

Grady was suspended from the Commons and apologised in the chamber after being found by an independent panel to have acted inappropriately.

But a leaked recording showed then SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford saying in a party group meeting that Grady should be given their support.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code