‘Gender-critical’ SNP politician Joanna Cherry loses seat to Labour

Edinburgh South West candidate Joanna Cherry greets First Minister John Swinney on an election campaign visit to an Asda supermarket, on June 12, 2024, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

‘Gender-critical’ Scottish National Party (SNP) candidate Joanna Cherry has lost her seat in Edinburgh South West to Labour. 

Cherry, who at the end of last year called on the UK government to investigate “the impact of extreme trans rights activism on women’s rights”, was defeated by Labour’s Scott Arthur in the general election. 

The former SNP MP had held the Edinburgh South West seat since 2015 and led the challenge against Boris Johnson’s five-week proroguing of parliament as part of the party’s anti-Brexit crusade. 

Cherry said after losing her seat (as reported by Scottish newspaper, The National): “The defeat of many SNP candidates tonight means that my party must now have the courage to address what has gone wrong in recent years, otherwise this setback for the Scottish National Party will not be reversed.

“I will have a lot more to say about that in the days and weeks to come. However, this setback for the SNP should not be interpreted as a setback for the cause of Scottish independence.” 

Joanna Cherry urged the government to investigate trans activism (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

She added: “The issue of our constitutional question is still very much alive, and Labour would be foolish to ignore that. Labour have promised change, and now they must deliver on that promise.”

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2024’s general election has delivered a Labour majority after a landslide victory. The party’s success has seen Conservative giants such as former prime minister Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg lose their seats, with various SNP candidates also facing the same fate. 

Cherry, who is a lesbian, has long courted controversy for her ‘gender-critical’ views, which are at odds with those of many of her SNP colleagues. 

Cherry has been a vocal critic of Scotland’s gender law reforms, and wider pro-trans legislation, and previously suggested conversion therapy should remain legal in some cases.

Just last year, she was embroiled in a freedom of speech battle with an Edinburgh venue after it cancelled an event at which she was due to appear following staff expressing concerns over her inclusion.

Also in 2023, a spokesperson for Cherry told PinkNews she made a simple “mistake” after she retweeted claims that Humza Yousaf wanted to sterilise transgender and autistic children

Meanwhile for SNP leader Alex Salmond has blamed the SNP’s poor performance in the general election on the party’s so-called “obsession” with “divisive” self-identification for trans people. 

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