In private Joanna is funny, generous and warm, displaying a personal and political empathy that many leading politicians lack. And she is a feminist to her fingertips.

Yet this strong, highly educated, successful woman politician nearly left politics last year, hounded out by a venomous mix of trans activists who disagree with her stance on gender identity and by SNP members who doubt her loyalty to Nicola Sturgeon.

In February last year, Cherry was sacked from the SNP’s front bench at Westminster for “disloyalty”, and last autumn she was warned of moves to deselect her.

Sturgeon appears to have no patience with the growing number of people, from across the political spectrum and none, who urge caution on this significant change. Infamously, she dismissed the views of feminist activists campaigning against self-ID as “not valid”.

Yet in May, the First Minister told the BBC that politics is not a “safe space” for women, adding that the SNP had found it increasingly difficult to persuade women to stand for election. “It’s a societal problem,” she added, “but there’s no doubt it can be worse in politics and in public life.”

Amen sister, but why, when one of her own was under attack, did the First Minister not stand up for Cherry? Or is her sisterly solidarity reserved only for those who offer her slavish loyalty? I think we know the answer to that, which suggests that Sturgeon’s feminism is, at best, flexible.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Transport Matters

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