Club apologises to ‘gender critical’ MP Joanna Cherry over cancelled Edinburgh Fringe event

Joanna Cherry

A venue which cancelled an event featuring so-called gender critical MP Joanna Cherry after staff expressed concerns has now apologised and reinstated the show. 

The Stand’s New Town Theatre has issued an apology to Cherry, saying its decision was “unfair and constituted unlawful discrimination”. 

After seeking legal advice, the venue stated: “We now publicly and unreservedly apologise to Ms Cherry.

“We have sent a detailed response to Ms Cherry and her legal team and have spoken to the event’s promoters to confirm that we will be able to host the event as originally planned.”

The Scottish National Party (SNP) MP was scheduled to take part in an ‘In conversation with …’ event at The Stand on 10 August, as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

However, the event was cancelled at the beginning of May and its description page on the Fringe website became inactive, due to staff expressing concerns about working with Cherry over her anti-trans views. 

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In a statement released at the time, the comedy club said the event could not “safely” go ahead without staff and management would “not compel our staff to work”, and so had to scrap the show. 

However, the politician – who represents Edinburgh South West – was quick to threaten legal action against The Strand for discrimination and demanded an apology and that the event to be put back on the schedule. 

She said she would “take whatever legal action is necessary to vindicate my right not to be misrepresented and not to be discriminated against”, adding that while money is not her “goal” in the case, she wants the venue to acknowledge its actions as “unlawful”. 

Cherry said that she hoped her actions would “give courage to everyone” who wants to express views on “legitimate issues of public interest”. 

“That, after all, is the very job of a politician and one of the reasons I entered politics in the first place,” Cherry concluded. 

Following the show’s cancellation, Cherry claimed she had been “cancelled” and her views “silenced”, despite a number of major newspapers, TV channels and radio shows giving her a platform to discuss the matter. 

In response to the venue backtracking on its decision and reinstating the event, Cherry said she is looking forward to taking part. 

“I hope that The Stand’s full and frank acceptance that to discriminate against me on account of the philosophical beliefs which I hold as a lesbian and a feminist was unlawful will benefit other women and men by discouraging others from similar discrimination in the future,” she said. 

Cherry is well-known for her controversial opinions on trans rights, views which are often at odds with the wider SNP. 

The politician spoke openly against Scotland’s landmark gender recognition reform law which was introduced by Nicola Sturgeon’s government but then controversially blocked by Westminster. 

Whilst in March, she “accidentally” retweeted claims that Humza Yousaf, who has since been elected as First Minister, wanted to sterilise transgender and autistic children.

PinkNews has contacted Joanna Cherry for comment.

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