General election 2024: Harry Potter author JK Rowling backs Joanna Cherry in Edinburgh South West

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Edinburgh-based author JK Rowling has given her backing to women’s rights advocate Joanna Cherry in her bid to be re-elected as an SNP MP in the city.

The Harry Potter author - previously a generous donor to the Labour Party - tweeted at the weekend: ”@joannaccherry and I might not agree on the constitutional issue, but we need brave, principled women like her in parliament.”

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has endorsed Joanna CherryHarry Potter author JK Rowling has endorsed Joanna Cherry
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has endorsed Joanna Cherry | Contributed

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Ms Cherry has been an outspoken critic of the Gender Recognition Act and self-identification, which put her at odds with the SNP leadership. She is standing for re-election as SNP MP for Edinburgh South West in the general election on July 4.

After Ms Rowling’s tweet, Ms Cherry posted: “Absolutely delighted to have this endorsement from @jk_rowling in my bid to be re-elected.”

Ms Rowling criticised Labour at the weekend for "abandoning" women concerned about transgender rights and said she would struggle to vote for Sir Keir Starmer.

In an article in The Times, she wrote: "As long as Labour remains dismissive and often offensive towards women fighting to retain the rights their foremothers thought were won for all time, I'll struggle to support them.

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"I've been a Labour voter, a member (no longer), donor (not recently) and campaigner (ditto) all my adult life. I want to see an end to this long stretch of chaotic and often calamitous Tory rule. I want to want to vote Labour."

Ms Cherry believes she can hold onto her seat despite the polls showing a drop in the SNP’s support more generally. She told the Evening News: “I have received a huge amount of positive feedback from all over the constituency because of the stand I’ve taken against self-identification. That’s something that comes up repeatedly in my mailbox and repeatedly on the doorsteps and the vast majority of people who bring it up support me.

“People who have been paying attention know that I sacrificed my political prospects in the SNP, and I put my personal safety at risk, to stand up for what I thought was right and for women’s rights and LGBT rights - and I think people really admire me for that.”

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