The SNP’s attempts to find a general election candidate in East Kilbride and Strathaven have become mired in bullying allegations, with local activists accusing the sitting MP of threatening and instigating criminal and civil actions against members.

Meanwhile, Lisa Cameron claims she has been “ostracised” by the party because of her support for the teenage victim of Patrick Grady.

She is being challenged for the candidacy, by Grant Costello, a local activist who works for the party.

READ MORE: SNP civil war in East Kilbride as MSP urges party members to unseat MP

He has already won the backing of senior figures in the party, including minister Christina McKelvie, the sitting MSP Collette Stevenson, and Linda Fabiani, the well-respected former SNP MSP for East Kilbride.

However, Dr Cameron suggested the latter's endorsement for her rival was because she had beaten Duncan McLean, Ms Fabiani’s partner for the candidacy ahead of the 2015 election.

“So I am not surprised that she is backing the competitor from HQ,” she told The Herald. “As I wouldn’t follow SNP directives on supporting perpetrators of sexual harassment which has led to me being bullied within a culture of victim blaming and denial."

In an open letter, shared on Facebook, Mr McLean accused the MP of misogyny.

“You claim to be a defender of women and their equal rights, yet you accuse Linda of backing your opponent for selection as Scottish National Party (SNP) candidate for East Kilbride and Strathaven only because you beat me in the race for selection in 2015.

“Without a shred of evidence, you claim that Linda is just trying to get back at you for that. How very misogynistic of you.”

He said Dr Cameron’s victory in 2015 was achieved through “years of effort by hundreds of activists”, many of whom had been “disparaged, dismissed, and abused” by the MP.

Mr McLean went on to say the MP was acting “shamefully” by presenting herself “as the victim in this situation, and the subject of bullying and harassment.”

“Yet you have threatened or instigated more criminal and civil actions against people you have worked with or are supposed to work for, than any Scottish politician I have ever come across,” he added.

READ MORE: SNP MP threatens legal action against party in selection row

Earlier this week, we told how an email sent by Dr Cameron’s local SNP branch secretary said that party rules may have been broken by activists trying to win votes for an unnamed candidate.

Legal action was subsequently threatened against the branch by Dr Cameron.

“It is clear that your training has given you the tools you need to be the real bully, using your status, lawyers, courts, and police to achieve this, and also using the press, as you have done on this occasion, to claim victimhood as a cover for your actions,” Mr McLean said.

Responding to the letter, Dr Cameron said the accusations were “truly reprehensible.”

"To double down on bullying someone who has undergone 12 months of counselling after standing up for a victim of sexual harassment at the hands of the SNP is truly reprehensible.

"To dismiss my need for therapy as 'claiming victimhood' is entirely shocking.

“I retain the support of local councillors and grassroots members and my full dignity in standing up for what is morally right".

Earlier this week, in an interview with the Daily Mail, Dr Cameron claimed the hostility from SNP colleagues in Westminster had given her panic attacks.

She told the paper: “I feel like the hierarchy, the leadership at the time, basically issued a directive to support the perpetrator and I was the person who said at the time – not to cause a problem but because of my work experience in the field with victims – that we should have a victim-led approach.

“We should be thinking what are we doing for the victim, and what are the victim’s feelings if we are going to be welcoming back the perpetrator.

“I was really shocked at the response. It was basically ignored.

“The hostility started afterwards and it was like I said something out of turn.”

READ MORE: Christina McKelvie urges SNP members to oust Lisa Cameron

Mr Grady was suspended from the Commons after he made an “unwanted sexual advance” to a party staffer 19 years his junior “while under the influence of alcohol.”

Dr Cameron told the paper that she had told the SNP whips at Westminster she was undergoing counselling following her experience, saying she had “about 12 months of counselling records that go along with this”.