A senior MP has quit the SNP’s governing body, citing concerns over “transparency and scrutiny”.
Joanna Cherry this evening became the third high profile politician to quit the SNP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in just a week.
Ms Cherry, who was sacked from her frontbench role in the party’s Westminster group in February, said “a number of factors” had prevented her from “fulfilling the mandate party members gave to me” as she tweeted the announcement of her resignation.
The news follows Douglas Chapman MP standing down from his role as party treasurer citing a lack of “support or financial information”.
I’ve resigned from the NEC of @theSNP. A number of factors have prevented me from fulfilling the mandate party members gave me to improve transparency & scrutiny & to uphold the party’s constitution. I won’t be making any further comment at this stage.
— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) May 31, 2021
Both Ms Cherry and Mr Chapman were supporters of the Common Weal Group inside the SNP which advocated more transparency, a greater role for members and more pressing work to be carried out in building the case for independence.
Marco Biagi, the former SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central, also quit his role as the head of the party’s “independence taskforce” last week.
Mr Biagi, a former minister in the SNP government, said his role on the taskforce had turned out to be the “worst job I’ve ever had”.
Shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray, responding to the resignations, said: “Losing one member of your National Executive is careless.
“Losing three members of your Finance Committee, your Treasurer and a member of your National Executive probably indicates a party in crisis.
“The SNP have long been gripped by a kind of centralism and secrecy that would make Lenin blush.
“From the failure to provide basic answers on what an independent Scotland would use as a currency, to the radio silence on what is going on in the party’s bank account – the people of Scotland deserve answers now.”