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East Kilbride MP Defiant
East Kilbride MP Lisa Cameron remains defiant after it was revealed she owns a property portfolio estimated to be worth more than £600,000.
The Nationalist MP has been accused of “rank hypocrisy” after it emerged she owns no fewer than five ex-council houses and flats in the constituency.
Her Register of Interests also states she owns a holiday let in Edinburgh.
It is claimed her husband, Mark Horsham, who was declared bankrupt after the business he ran under her name – Lisa Cameron & Associates – went bust, deals with the day to day running of the property business.
It is understood the MP, who opposed the sale of housing association stock, charges around £400 per month for her properties in East Kilbride .
The MP, who is also a consultant psychologist with the NHS, for which she is paid £150 a month on top of her £73,000 a year salary from Westminister, also pledged to ensure the “most vulnerable” in society have access to affordable housing.
It was just revealed, in 2003 she purchased a former council house in East Kilbride for £75,000, taking out a £31,000 mortgage and renting it out from 2009.
Her next property, an ex-local authority flat in the town, was left to Dr Cameron by her grandmother in 2012.
Then, amid a rising tide of house repossessions, she acquired her third rental property – an ex-council flat – for only £38,750.
Nine months later, Dr Cameron bought another repossession for £42,000 in East Kilbride.
Her next rental flat was bought from the estate of the previous owner after his death.
But Lisa claims she has been completely open about what properties she owns.
She said: “I declared my interests in line with parliamentary rules and none of the properties described were purchased from the local authority by me.
“The houses referred to include my current home and a flat which I inherited from my grandmother.”
She added: “Many bought their house from the council historically but they would have believed that the money would be reinvested into housing stock. This didn’t happen however, and policies now need to reflect the shortage of affordable housing and address this constructively. Scottish Government policies aim to do so.”
Tory councillor Graham Simpson, who stood against Dr Cameron in the General Election , called on her to step down.
He said: “Lisa Cameron is guilty of rank hypocrisy on two counts. During the election campaign, she said she was not in favour of selling off social housing but she has several ex-council properties. And also during the election she also criticised rent levels in the private sector but we are now finding out the rent levels for her properties are higher than those set by the council. The serious thing for her as a politician is that she can’t say one thing and do another and I think Lisa should be considering her position as an SNP MP and the SNP should be doing likewise. I don’t believe it is particularly significant her husband is apparently running the business — there is nothing wrong with renting properties. It’s the fact she has claimed things she isn’t doing. It is the hypocrisy. And Lisa needs to realise just how serious that is now she is a politician.”
Meanwhile, Labour candidate for East Kilbride in the forthcoming Holyrood elections, LizAnne Handibode, said: “Given that many of Lisa’s constituents are unable to get a mortgage and many can’t even get a house — with the waiting list for social housing in East Kilbride nearing the 6000 mark — I believe I can understand why many would be appalled by the apparent hypocrisy of this. This isn’t just a small sideline on top of her job as a consultant psychologist, it’s a business and a significant property empire. The fact that some of the purchases seem to have been cash lump sums will come as a surprise to many people given the climate we have been in. And given her campaigning for a “progressive society” and slamming the sale of social housing as well as being a strong supporter of the trade union movement, this is all the more hypocritical.”
The secretary of the SNP constituency party in East Kilbride, Duncan McLean, declined to comment.