Nicola Sturgeon accused of ‘Stalinist revisionism’ as Joanna Cherry delivers parting shot

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Ms Cherry was sacked from the SNP’s Westminster frontbench for “unacceptable behaviour” earlier this week and delivered a stinging parting shot to the party and its leader. She compared her omission from the SNP press release detailing the reshuffle to a Soviet-style rewriting of history.

Airbrushed from history. A non-person. Sounds familiar?

Joanna Cherry

Writing in The National, Ms Cherry said: “I got 30 minutes’ notice of the announcement, no proper explanation of why I was being sacked and no acknowledgement of or any thanks at all for the work I have done in that role over the last five-and-a-half years.

“Indeed, the press release announcing the reshuffle was a masterly piece of Stalinist revisionism in which I was not even mentioned.

“Airbrushed from history. A non-person. Sounds familiar?

“It is not sensible to take people for fools and of course what happened was not swept under the carpet as some had hoped.”

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SNP MP Kenny MacAskill stood up for Ms Cherry, describing her removal from the front bench as “inexplicable and harmful to our cause”.

Mr MacAskill, a former justice secretary in the Scottish Government, 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.”

READ MORE SNP crisis: Joanna Cherry sacking shows Sturgeon ‘losing control’

Ms Cherry, who was the SNP’s justice and home affairs spokeswoman at Westminster, was regarded as a thorn in Ms Sturgeon’s side and party sources claimed the two women had barely spoken in five years.

She also upset SNP colleagues for refusing to back the party’s stance on transgender issues.

She was critical of planned reforms of the Gender Recognition Act and was also unhappy with Ms Sturgeon’s strategy towards a second referendum on Scottish independence.

She compared her own situation to high-profile party figures who had caused controversy but managed to retain their place or been promoted.

She told the Commons yesterday: “Across our society, and particularly in universities and the third sector, women and some men are losing their jobs, having their positions undermined and their personal safety put in jeopardy simply for questioning the ideology that any man can self-identify as a woman, and for speaking up for women’s sex-based rights under the Equality Act.

“Does the Leader of the House agree with me that all democrats should condemn such attacks on free speech, and can we have a debate about free speech and the importance of sex as a protected characteristic under the Equality Act?”

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An SNP spokesman said: “Joanna Cherry was removed from the front bench because of unacceptable behaviour, which did not meet the standards expected of a front bench spokesperson, not because of the views she holds.”

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