SNP MP Joanna Cherry has criticised her party for giving her “no public support” following rape and death threats made against her.
Cherry spoke outside the Scottish Parliament as she joined campaigners opposed to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which is due to be passed by MSPs on Thursday.
The Edinburgh South West MP has been an outspoken critic of the legislation, having raised concerns over the impact it could have on the safety of women and girls.
The 56-year-old, who served as the SNP’s spokesperson on justice and home affairs between 2015 and 2021, said she was removed from the party’s frontbench at Westminster due to her views.
And she has suggested that there are MSPs who are trying to keep out of the debate on gender reforms as they are “afraid” to speak up on the issue.
STV News has contacted the SNP for a response to the claims made by Cherry.
More than 150 amendments to the legislation have been considered at Holyrood over three days, with parliamentarians sitting late into the night in order.
Critics of the Bill have accused the Scottish Government of trying to rush the legislation through, with an attempt to push it into January having been rejected.
Cherry stated that the Bill remains contentious, despite years of consideration of what it would involve.
The legislation is aiming to simplify the process for people in Scotland to obtain a gender recognition certificate.
“Despite all the years of consultation we’ve had about this legislation, it’s still very contentious,” Cherry told the PA News agency.
“It has divided parties, including my own party, the SNP. I’m not the only person who’s concerned about this legislation.
“I know for a fact that there are people in both the Westminster group and the Holyrood group who have serious reservations about this legislation, but who haven’t felt able to speak out.
“And I think some people are scared to speak out in this debate because when you do speak out, you’re often wrongly branded a transphobe or a bigot.
“In my case, I was kicked off the SNP frontbench for speaking up for women’s rights and for lesbian rights.
“And I’ve also received rape and death threats, as is a matter of public record. I’ve had no public support from my political party, despite those rape and death threats.
“So, I think many parliamentarians are just trying to keep out of this debate because they’re afraid to speak up.”
Cherry said that she had faced “bullying” in her work as an MP, as she said that women who raised concerns over the Bill had been shouted down.
She said: “The debate has not been satisfactory. This is not the way we should be making policy or law in Scotland.
“Many women, such as myself, who’ve tried to contribute to this debate have been shouted down.
“We’ve been abused, we’ve faced bullying in our workplace, and I know personally I’ve faced bullying in my workplace as a result of my views on this.
“And some women have even lost their jobs. It’s not why I came into politics. I want to see a better Scotland where all voices are heard and where debates are not shut down by abuse or bullying.”
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