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John Mason.jpg

SNP discipline Christian politician over pro-life comments

by Marcus Jones

Christian MSP John Mason has been given a formal warning by the Scottish National Party over comments he made about plans to impose buffer zones around abortion clinics to stop prayer vigils or any pro-life campaigns nearby.

Leaked documents, released by the Daily Record, show how party whips criticised his behaviour claiming it brought the party into disrepute.

The warning is linked to past comments made by Mason defending the right of protests.

In a Twitter post back in May Mr Mason suggested pro-life signs used at vigils were "very gentle and offering help". He also said he saw nothing hateful or harassing about the signs.

Politicians in Scotland are debating plans which would ban protests and prayer vigils around abortion clinics but many campaigners are lobbying for them to remain legal.

Responding to his comments in letter written in June, party whips Stuart McMillan and Gordon MacDonald said: "Your behaviour and conduct have been extremely disappointing, and we believe that you have brought the Parliamentary group into disrepute.

"We would like to make it clear that we absolutely respect your right to hold your views on abortion and your right to freedom of speech and expression. 

"We do not, however, believe that you have the right to impose these views on others.

"The verbalisation of your views has caused great distress and trauma to many women and have also been regarded as misinformation by medical professionals."

Further leaked documents show Mr Mason questioning the party whips' offer of free speech but later claim that his views were distressing.

He also suggested his opinions were based on science not faith.

The SNP says it won't be commenting on internal party matters.

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