POLITICS: Joanna Cherry ‘sacked’ in SNP Westminster reshuffle

SNP MP Joanna Cherry said she had been ruthlessly “sacked” from her party’s front bench team at Westminster, as a reshuffle was announced.

Ms Cherry had been the SNP justice and home affairs spokeswoman at Westminster – but was also seen by many as being close to former leader Alex Salmond, as well as having come in for criticism from some for her stance on transgender issues.

The reshuffle revealed that Anne McLaughlin, a virtual unknown in Scottish politics, has now been appointed as the SNP’s Westminster spokeswoman on justice and immigration.

It comes after Ms Cherry successfully challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans for the prorogation of Parliament in 2019.

As the SNP Westminster reshuffle was announced, Ms Cherry tweeted: “Despite hard work, results & a strong reputation I’ve been sacked today from @theSNP front bench.”

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

Cherry’s remarks come as Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, announced a reshuffle of SNP MPs including members of the front bench team.

Blackford said the reshuffle would “draw on new talent and ensure the SNP has the best possible team in Westminster as Scotland faces the challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit”.

SNP leader Ian Blackford speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons.

Four MPs have been added to the SNP front bench – Patricia Gibson, Angela Crawley, Richard Thomson and Stephen Flynn.  

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.

“We are at a crucial time in politics. Never before have we faced a challenge as great as the global pandemic, and Scotland is acutely feeling the ramifications of leaving the European Union. With the Scottish elections on the horizon and independence in touching distance, our new team is ready to work hard for Scotland.”


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