SNP CRISIS: Joanna Cherry fears axe over ‘threats and smears’ as she rages at party ‘cult’

Joanna Cherry, the SNP’s former Justice spokesperson at Westminster said “I suspect I won’t be a member of parliament much longer” after being awarded Holyrood Magazine’s Best Scot award at Westminster on Thursday. Ms Cherry, the MP for Edinburgh South West, has been at odds with party colleagues over planned changes to the Gender Recognition Act.

The new legalisation will make it easier for trans people to self-declare their gender.

Receiving her award from comedian and podcaster Matt Forde, Ms Cherry said in her acceptance speech: “I suspect I won’t be a member of parliament for much longer but while I am I will still try to be an independent and thoughtful voice.

“I will always fight for Scotland to be an independent country and, regardless if you are a unionist or a nationalist, [a place] where everyone has equal rights and everyone has the right to free speech.”

She stressed she would never have stood for her Edinburgh South West seat in the House of Commons if she had known the level of “abuse” and “threats” she would have received. 

She continued: “In 2014, when Alex Salmond asked me if I would consider running for the candidacy in Edinburgh South West, I found it quite hard to leave my old job.

“If I’d known the level of abuse, threats, bullying and smears I’d have to face, particularly from my own side, I’d never have done it.

“I’ve absolutely no regrets about doing it. 

“When I was growing up, when I was a teenager, I always wanted to be a Labour MP and it has been the privilege of my life to be a member of parliament.”

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Ms Cherry, an ally of former First Minister Alex Salmond, had also suggested an unhealthy “cult” is being built up within the SNP around Ms Sturgeon earlier this year. 

In a swipe at the Scottish First Minister, she warned it was damaging to “put all your faith on one person”.

The SNP has been approached for comment on Ms Cherry’s remarks. 

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