Originally published in the National.

Joanna Cherry calls for Alex Salmond’s ‘place in SNP history to be reinstated’

By Andrew Learmonth  @andrewlearmonthJournalistJoanna Cherry has called for Alex Salmond to be welcomed back into the SNP


Joanna Cherry has called for Alex Salmond to be welcomed back into the SNP 

JOANNA Cherry has called for Alex Salmond to be welcomed back into the SNP

In an interview with The Times on the day of her party’s conference, the Edinburgh West MP said the former First Minister’s “place in the party’s history” should be “reinstated”.

“The not guilty verdict needs to be respected by all of us,” she said.

However, the Edinburgh South West MP has rejected a claim in the paper that Nicola Sturgeonhad “personally” acted to block her standing for Holyrood

Over the summer, the party’s ruling NEC changed the rules for “dual mandate” candidates, with the SNP’s Westminster representatives told they would need to resign their seat, close their office and make their staff redundant if they wanted to run for the Scottish Parliament. 

Cherry, who was hoping to be selected for the Edinburgh Central constituency, withdrew her bid, calling the rule change “unreasonable”.

The party said it was about saving money by ruling out the need for standalone by-elections, but many of Cherry’s supporters saw it as a plot to thwart her ambitions.

Earlier this month, the former SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson was named as the candidate for the constituency. 

In an interview in today’s Times, Cherry is quoted as saying Nicola Sturgeon personally intervened to deny her access to the meeting of the NEC which discussed dual mandates.

In a statement released early on Saturday morning, the QC says this claim – which has also been denied by the First Minister’s spokesman – simply isn’t true.

She said: “In today’s Times Scotland interview with me there is a significant error regarding the attempt by a small group of SNP NEC members to deselect me as an MP last September. I was grateful to Nicola Sturgeon at the time for stepping in to prevent this. She acted appropriately. 

The National:

“The issue regarding me being prevented from joining the meeting by phone link was down to a staff member at HQ and not the First Minister. The Times Scotland have been contacted to correct this substantial error which is their and not mine.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Cherry says she gets annoyed when people say she is a “proxy” for Sturgeon’s predecessor. 

She said: “I get really irritated when people say I’m just a Salmondite, or an ally of Alex Salmond, because I’m not,” she says. “I have my own views about how to do things, and if people look at the sort of career I’ve had in politics my approach has been mine.”

In March, the former First Minister was acquitted of 12 charges of attempted rape, sexual assault and indecent assault.

The nine women involved in the charges were all current or former Scottish government officials, or SNP politicians. 

Cherry told The Times: “In relation to Alex, I had good reason to believe that he was not guilty. I said publicly at the time that he was entitled to the presumption of innocence, and I trusted in the legal system to vindicate him. And it did.

“What I’ll say about that is I was brought up to stand by my friends by my parents, that’s the sort of family I come from. That’s why I’ve stood by him. It’s rather a comment on modern life that so few did.”

She said that, during her early months at Westminster, Salmond was her greatest supporter. “One person you could always turn to for support and advice was him,” she said. “He was always the first person on the phone. We’ve had some real humdingers of arguments about policy and stuff, but I am fond of him.”

Cherry added: “I want to see him as a member of the party again and I want his place in the party’s history reinstated,” she said. “The not guilty verdict needs to be respected by all of us.

“Of course women should be able to make complaints, and you should have a fair and transparent complaints process, but you must also be fair to the person being complained against.

“You can’t substitute your feelings for the verdict of the court.”

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9 thoughts on “ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

  1. The Current FM refused to answer that Question this morning!
    And Hid behind the Current Holyrood Inquiry! After 6 years of Not being Very Successful in Education, Health or Independence it is Time for a New Leader!
    I Will vote For Keith Brown!


    1. Please yourself , but voting for Keith Brown is unlikely to solve very much . The same coterie of advisers is likely to keep grip of the political levers . Better the devil we know who at least has street cred with soft nos and the bulk of SNP members . Keith Brown is a very nice man , arguably we need somebody with a stronger killer instinct at this stage of the game.


  2. Well done Joanna Cherry. And we MUST have transparency over Salmond asap. Those responsible must stand up and be counted, The SNP must not defy a resolution of the Scottish Parliament. This is a MORAL as well as a political issue.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I absolutely agree with Joanna Cherry in that Mr Salmond was cleared and that should be respected. I don’t know whether he would want to return to the fold, but nothing should be put in his way if he chooses to renew his membership. It would probably prove to be a divisive move, though, if he then chose to stand again, no matter how attractive a prospect that might be for those who want action. The holier than thou, Holy Willie, sanctimonious attitude of the SNP is irritating in the extreme, and leads them into making some whopping blunders by jumping in with both feet before thinking things through.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been wondering if Alex Salmond would return to the SNP, and thinking, well, he IS a career politician, and a shrewd one at that, – actually I’m just not sure after that, BUT, for Joanna Cherry to openly criticised the SNP, and to openly support Alex’s return, suggests that she has already been gathering political support from within the SNP. I suspect moves are afoot – based on very little evidence, but Joanna Cherry is no rebel, and has been very careful in what she says so far – and I think this is no different.

      Alex Salmond is fully behind true economical theory and a new currency now too, if he comes back on board, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with, I reckon.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Would Salmond want to rejoin and would that be the best use of his appeal. The only chance of the hare brained vote splitting tactic working in favour of independence is if Salmond takes the helm of one of the increasing number of pop-up parties. His is the only cache that would get enough people to vote for a pop-up to stop the scheme losing pro-Indy seats to unionists.


  5. I take it from your comments Me Bungo Pony that you see the benefit in a list Indy party to deliver seats that would otherwise be lost by SNP1 and SNP2.


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