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by Chris Marshall
01 February 2021
SNP MP Joanna Cherry 'sacked' from party's frontbench at Westminster

Cherry was the SNP's home affairs spokeswoman prior to the reshuffle. Picture: Jane Barlow / PA images

SNP MP Joanna Cherry 'sacked' from party's frontbench at Westminster

SNP MP Joanna Cherry has been sacked from the party's frontbench at Westminster following a reshuffle.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Edinburgh South West MP said the move came despite her "hard work, results and strong reputation".

Ian Blackford, the party's leader at Westminster, said the reshuffle gave his party "a strong team to take us forward".

Cherry, the SNP's former home affairs spokeswoman, tweeted: "Despite hard work, results & a strong reputation I’ve been sacked today from @theSNP front bench. My constituents & fellow party members who gave me a resounding mandate in recent NEC elections should rest assured that I will continue to work hard for them."

 

She added: "Westminster is increasingly irrelevant to Scotland's constitutional future and @theSNP would do well to radically re-think our strategy."

In a statement, which failed to mention Cherry by name, Blackford, said there had been a reshuffle to ensure the party had the "best possible team".

Cherry's shadow justice brief will be taken on by Anne McLaughlin, who becomes the party's spokeswoman on justice and immigration, while Stuart McDonald becomes spokesman on home affairs. 

Blackford said: "We have a wealth of talent and experience and this reshuffle of SNP MPs ensures we are in the best possible position to hold the UK government to account during this global pandemic and the aftermath of Brexit, to support colleagues ahead of the Scottish elections, and to deliver independence. 
 
"Team-working and cooperation are key to ensure results and this reshuffle will give us a strong team to take us forward. We have an incredibly hard-working group of MPs - I thank them all for their commitment and congratulate those in new positions." 

However, Kenny MacAskill, SNP MP for East Lothian, tweeted: "I know how highly rated Joanna Cherry is in UK justice circles as well the party grassroots in Scotland.

"She remains head and shoulders above most others and I for one stand by her. This is the leadership's call but many of us find this inexplicable and harmful to our cause."

Last week, SNP MP Kirsty Blackman said Cherry had blocked her on Twitter following a row over the lawyer Sarah Phillimore who has been banned by the social media platform for violating rules on "hateful conduct".

Criticising the ban, Cherry said she was “calling out” Twitter for “sexism” and “human rights violations", adding that the company’s hateful conduct policy “does not protect women”.

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