Joanna Cherry questioned the ‘vetting process’ for the SNP’s new complaints officer. (ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
SNP MP Joanna Cherry has complained about her party’s new complaints officer, claiming that he accused her of “transphobia”.
Cherry, an outspoken opponent of Scottish trans rights reforms who was sacked from the SNP’s Westminster front bench days after Nicola Sturgeon vowed to tackle transphobia within the party, said the new complaints officer, Ricky Taylor, “has a history of targeting me and calling me transphobic”.
She shared screenshots of tweets between her and Taylor from January, in which he said he is “a member of the party deeply concerned with the open transphobia that you constantly spout”.
She responded that she is not transphobic, adding: “Standing up for women’s rights and those of lesbians is not transphobic. Grow up.”
Taylor had responded by telling Cherry to “[stop] creating a toxic environment within the SNP and pulling the defamation card anytime you’re challenged on your views”.
He posted on 30 July that he was “delighted” to be “joining the wonderful team” at SNP headquarters as the new complaints officer, adding: “It’s not going to be the easiest job but I’m definitely up for the challenge of making sure the party is a welcoming and safe place for all.”
Questioning Taylor’s appointment to the role, Cherry tweeted on 31 July: “The new SNP complaints officer Ricky Taylor has a history of targeting me and calling me transphobic for my lawful gender critical views. How did he pass vetting?”
The new @theSNP complaints officer @RickyDJTaylor has a history of targeting me & calling me transphobic for my lawful gender critical views. How did he pass vetting? https://t.co/of6vdNAgKb…https://t.co/of6vdNAgKb…https://t.co/of6vdNAgKb… pic.twitter.com/ezXPrtIVBv
— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) July 31, 2021
An SNP spokesperson told The Scotsman: “The party’s new complaints officer will play an important administrative role at headquarters, and we have full confidence in his abilities. Decisions on complaints remain with the National Secretary.”
Joanna Cherry removed from front bench after threatening action against SNP’s LGBT+ wing in Twitter dispute
A high-profile spat between Joanna Cherry and the party’s LGBT+ wing, Out For Independence, preceded her removal from the front bench during a reshuffle.
The spat began when Cherry accused Twitter of “hateful conduct” for banning gender-critical family law barrister Sarah Phillimore, who has repeatedly invoked the Nazis and the Holocaust in posts criticising trans rights.
After her message, Out for Independence posted a tweet challenging “the support given to Sarah Phillimore today by an SNP MP”, adding: “Bigotry in all forms must be opposed.”
Though not mentioned by name, Cherry responded: “Your tweet is grossly defamatory and in breach of the SNP code of conduct. I’ve reported it to the party’s national secretary and he has promised me to take urgent action.”
When the gay Scottish actor David Paisley challenged Cherry over the context of Phillimore’s messages invoking the Holocaust, Cherry told him to “grow up”.