The SNP’s Joanna Cherry has said she will not stand to become an MSP if it means quitting as an MP and making her constituency staff unemployed.
The MP had hoped to become the party’s candidate for Edinburgh Central in May’s Scottish Parliament elections.
However, she confirmed in a statement she won’t be seeking nomination “unless circumstances change”.
Cherry’s decision comes after the party’s national executive committee (NEC) reportedly backed a change to the rules on dual mandates.
In a statement, she said: “I have not had the courtesy of any official confirmation of this decision and would not normally comment on leaks of internal party matters, however private discussions by the current SNP NEC seems to regularly reach the press and I understand that the information which has been leaked is correct.”
She continued: “It is unprecedented in our party’s history of dual mandates to demand that a parliamentarian make themselves and their constituency staff unemployed in order to be eligible to be a candidate.
“It is particularly unreasonable to demand this in the middle of a pandemic. I am not prepared to do it and so unless circumstances change, I won’t be seeking nomination for Holyrood in this election.”
This would likely pave the away for Angus Robertson who, on Sunday, officially declared his intention to run for the Scottish Parliament in the Edinburgh Central seat.
An SNP spokesman said: “The NEC backed an approach that will guarantee constituents a full-time commitment from day one, and minimise the disruption to voters.”
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