Joanna Cherry’s sacking came in response to a “long-standing pattern of unacceptable behaviour”, senior SNP sources claim.
Ms Cherry, who carried the Home Office and justice brief for the party, was removed from the SNP frontbench by Ian Blackford on Monday morning.
We understand his decision came after SNP MPs threatened to call a vote of no confidence in Ms Cherry at an emergency Westminster group meeting.
A senior SNP source told us: “There have been growing concerns for some time about Joanna Cherry’s behaviour that have eclipsed her contributions to the group.
“There was a strong feeling across the group that enough was enough.
“SNP MPs have been left in tears and party members have resigned as a result of her actions.
“MPs were calling for a vote of no confidence in Joanna; leadership did the right thing and took action.
“We will not be distracted from our efforts to hold the Tories to account as we move towards independence.”
Power struggle claim follows Joanna Cherry sacking
Ms Cherry has been viewed as a critic of Nicola Sturgeon, and a key ally of her predecessor, Alex Salmond, amid an ongoing power struggle between their two camps of supporters.
She had also recently clashed publicly with Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman and others on issues such as trans rights.
Action & inaction have consequences. Tonight I’ve received a vicious threat from a man to my personal safety. The matter has been reported to Police Scotland & I’m somewhere safe. Thank you for all the lovely messages of support
— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) February 1, 2021
Claims her dismissal was somehow related to her holding differing views on the gender recognition act, were dismissed as “nonsense” by party figures on Monday night.
Suggestions that Ms Cherry’s sacking was down to factional fighting or that it was ordered from Edinburgh have also been strongly rejected.
Asked if there is any way back for Ms Cherry, party sources were non-committal – noting the QC can be “brilliant”, but also that politics is a “team game”.
‘A vicious threat’
In posts on social media on Monday evening Ms Cherry said she would continue to work hard for constituents and advised her party colleagues to “radically re-think” their strategy.
The Edinburgh MP also reported threats abuse since her sacking, she said: “Action & inaction have consequences.
“Tonight I’ve received a vicious threat from a man to my personal safety. The matter has been reported to Police Scotland & I’m somewhere safe. Thank you for all the lovely messages of support.”