The SNP Westminster chief has denied a failure of leadership in dealing with the harassment faced by a top MP.
But Ian Blackford twice declined to say if he had offered Joanna Cherry any personal support over the abuse she has endured as a parliamentarian.
He also said he had no regrets about the much-criticised campaign which led to him unseating the late Lib Dem Charles Kennedy.
The murder of Tory MP David Amess, five years on from the killing of Labour’s Jo Cox, has sparked another debate on toxicity of the country’s politics.
Cherry, who was sacked from the SNP’s front bench by Blackford earlier this year, wrote a piece for the Record on the hostility she had faced as an MP.
She wrote that an SNP member was convicted after threatening her with sexual violence, but claimed no one in her party “publicly condemned him”.
Speaking to this newspaper, Blackford was asked what personal support he had offered to Cherry recently, but in his answer he did not mention her by name:
“All of us here are reflecting on the horrors of what's happened over the course of the last few days, and what happened to David Amess last Friday.
“The horrors of remembering everything that happened with Jo Cox, faced with something in many respects that was so similar.”
He said “unacceptable behaviour” against MPs had got worse, adding:
“I'm purposely not talking about any individual because I think a lot of individuals, a lot of MPs, have been traumatised by what has happened to them.”
Asked again about personal support for Cherry, he replied:
“I know why you're asking the question the way that you are, and I am choosing my words very carefully.
"I will always make sure that every colleague, whether that's a Member of Parliament, or whether it's a member of staff, will be offered support.”
Blackford was asked directly whether there had been a failure of leadership in dealing with the issues raised by Cherry.
He said: “No.”
He said of his decision to sack her: “It is up to me to choose the people that I think are best suited to serve in a collective way in terms of taking the group forward.”
Blackford, first elected for the SNP in 2015, was also asked about the local campaign that was run in Kennedy’s Highland seat six years ago.
Some of his supporters were accused of weaponising Kennedy’s problems with alcohol. The popular Lib Dem died weeks after losing the constituency.
On whether he had any regrets about the campaign, he said: “No.”
He added: “Charles Kennedy is sadly no longer here, but I made it clear how we were supposed to engage in that campaign. I'll leave it at that.”
Cherry declined to comment.
To sign up to the Daily Record Politics newsletter, click here.