SNP MP Joanna Cherry at centre of alleged bullying probe

One of the SNP’s most senior MPs is at the centre of an investigation into alleged bullying.

Saturday, 11th May 2019, 6:23 pm
Joanna cherry MP. Pic: JPI Media

Allegations over the conduct of Edinburgh South West MP Joanna Cherry are reportedly being investigated by Commons authorities.

Four former staff members are alleged to have complained about Cherry.

The National Union of Journalists reportedly wrote directly to the SNP MP, who is the party’s justice spokeswoman at Westminster, after receiving the initial complaint. The former staff involved no longer work for Cherry.

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Among the SNP’s most admired performers, Cherry has been the target of death threats after taking a stand over the abuse of women through social media.

She was last week escorted by police officers while travelling to her constituency surgery.

“This has been very unpleasant and upsetting for me and my staff,” Cherry said earlier this month.

“However, I am determined not to be intimidated and to continue to discharge my duties as a constituency MP and in parliament.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is reportedly aware of the investigation into Cherry.

A House of Commons spokeswoman declined to confirm the investigation, but said in a statement: “Parliament’s Behaviour Code makes clear the standards of behaviour expected of everyone in parliament, whether staff, members of the House of Lords, MPs or visitors.

“There is zero tolerance for abuse or harassment.

“The Behaviour Code is supported by the Independent Complaints and Grievances Scheme (ICGS), which has been in place since July 2018.

“The scheme operates on the basis of absolute confidentiality. Therefore we cannot provide answers about any complaint that may or may not have been made.”

Joanna Cherry and the SNP have both been approached for comment.

In a separate case, fellow SNP MP Chris Law, who represents Dundee West, has been taken to an employment tribunal over claims he failed to protect a former caseworker from abuse.

Dundee City councillor Roisin Smith has lodged the claim for constructive dismissal.

A spokesperson for Law said the MP denied all the allegations.