Joanna cherry

Sturgeon’s purge: why Joanna Cherry had to go

Joanna Cherry is out as the SNP’s Home Office spokeswoman at Westminster. The QC, who also shadowed the Justice Secretary, announced on Twitter that she had been ‘sacked’ from the nationalist frontbench. Her departure comes as part of a rejigging of what the party terms ‘the real opposition’. There is some established talent there (Alison Thewliss at Treasury, Alyn Smith at foreign affairs, Stewart McDonald at defence) and some fresh blood in the form of 2019-intake MP Stephen Flynn, bumped up from junior Treasury spokesman to ‘Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’. (The SNP refers to all its frontbenchers as shadow secretaries of state, which is

Katy Balls

SNP sacking exposes party infighting

The turmoil in the SNP has taken a new turn this lunchtime with the sacking of Joanna Cherry QC as shadow spokesperson on justice and home affairs in the House of Commons. The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford embarked on a reshuffle this morning — using a press release to welcome four MPs to the front bench. However, he failed to find any space to mention the departure of Cherry. Instead the influential SNP politician broke the news herself on social media: Cherry goes on to say that ‘Westminster is increasingly irrelevant to Scotland’s constitutional future’ and urge the SNP to ‘radically re-think our strategy’.  So, what’s going on? Cherry’s sacking comes after weeks

In praise of the MPs who spoke out in the trans debate

There is an old Westminster joke that says if you want to keep something secret, say it on the floor of the House of Commons. Day-to-day parliamentary business doesn’t often get the attention of national media outlets and thus the wider country. This is understandable but also a pity because we often end up missing our elected representatives doing the things we expect of them: debating important things, discussing subjects that concern voters, even sometimes showing thoughtful leadership. I’ve spent most of my career around MPs. Maybe I’ve been captured, but I often think they deserve a bit more respect than they get. Most work very hard (and much harder

Joanna Cherry: Whatever Boris says, there could be a legal route to IndyRef2

Anyone who tunes into Prime Minister’s Questions these days ought to be prepared to hear the issue of Scottish independence raised multiple times. Since winning seats in the snap election from the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems, SNP MPs have been keen to say that the case for IndyRef2 has never been stronger However, Boris Johnson takes a different view. The Prime Minister has said he will not give permission for a second independence referendum – and has rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s request. So, is IndyRef2 off the cards while Johnson resides in No. 10? I put this to Joanna Cherry – the SNP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson –