Scotland’s only woman Conservative MP said she is one of the most abused politicians in the country and receives threats on a weekly basis.

Angus representative Kirstene Hair has written exclusively for The Courier about the daily struggles she and other public figures face not just online, but in the workplace too.

Ms Hair said the tone of debate has deteriorated to the extent even Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to change his rhetoric and be mindful of the language used in the Houses of Parliament.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Conservative Party conference.

And in a scathing rebuttal of the language used during the independence debate, she claims attacks on her and fellow Conservative member Luke Graham’s offices were a result of MSP Mike Russell’s remarks about Scottish Tory MPs being “traitors”.

She said: “Security at (MPs’) homes and offices has been increased by the parliamentary authorities.

“All are welcome measures which decrease risk, but cannot guarantee safety. How much further can safeguarding procedures be increased whilst still allowing our roles to be carried out?

“It is for that reason, I must call out the language of all political parties, including that of our prime minister.

“With high office comes great responsibility. Every word spoken or written has consequences. We must use them wisely.

“Members across both parliaments cannot use the platform their profile provides and exploit it to sow division.

KIRSTENE HAIR: It’s time for everyone — Boris Johnson included — to restore respect to our political debate

“Mike Russell MSP, cabinet secretary in the SNP Scottish Government, knew exactly the consequences of his actions when he appeared to label all Scottish Conservatives MPs traitors for voting to leave the European Union with a deal – hidden behind the historic term ‘Ragman Rolls’. No apology from this experienced politician nor his boss, the first minister of Scotland.

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Mike Russell.

“The subsequent attack that week on the office of Luke Graham MP for Ochil and South Perthshire was inevitable. Mr Russell had intentionally motivated his core voters as, like many others in his party, he is determined to create a firm dividing line between unionists and separatists – in turn pushing his party’s case for leaving the United Kingdom.”

An SNP spokesperson said: “Debate must be respectful on all sides – but Boris Johnson’s disgraceful language this past week was way beyond anything seen in UK politics in living memory.”

A spokesperson for the prime minister reiterated comments Mr Johnson made on Sunday, in which he said he had been a “model of constraint”.

Kirstene Hair: It’s time for everyone — Boris Johnson included — to restore respect to our political debate


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