AN MP who sees herself a potential SNP leader has said her party’s biggest ever presence at Westminster was due to a “ridiculous” voting system.

Joanna Cherry QC, who is the SNP’s justice spokesperson in the Commons, made the remark about the Nationalist tsunami of 2015 at an event in London last week.

She said the SNP got 50 per cent of the vote in Scotland, and “because of the ridiculous first-past-the-post system we got 56 of the 59 MPs”.

The Edinburgh South West MP also said Scotish voters had been “burned” by the aftermath of the Brexit referendum and didn’t want “a divisive second independence referendum”, meaning her party still had more “groundwork” to do to bring more people around to its view.

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She said a Citizens Assembly this autumn would be “part of the process of preparing voters in Scotland for a second independence referendum”.

She also suggested the Assembly could examine the “toxic subject” of Scotland’s future currency.

The recent SNP conference backed switching to a new currency “as soon as practicable” after six economic tests were met following a Yes vote.

Ms Cherry was speaking at an event about the constitution organised by ‘The Convention’, at which she focused on Citizens Assemblies.

She said: “After the Scottish independence referendum, I was one of 56 SNP MPs who were elected in the landslide of the 2015 general election, and we got 50 per cent of the vote in Scotland. Because of the ridiculous first-past-the-post system we got 56 out of the 59 MPs.”

She said support for independence was growing because of Brexit, and predicted Nicola Sturgeon would probably hold another vote in late 2020, which the Yes side would win.

She said: “I think people are burned by the aftermath of the Brexit referendum and in Scotland, there’s a very real sense that we don’t want to have a divisive second independence referendum, and we want to try and carry out some groundwork for bringing as many people with us as possible.”

She said: “I was delighted… Nicola Sturgeon took on board the idea that, as part of the process of preparing voters in Scotland for a second independence referendum, there will be a Citizens Assembly held in Scotland this autumn.”

She went on: “I don’t know what the topics of those Citizens Assemblies are going to be. I know what the aims are. I have my own views.

“I’d really like to see the Citizens Assembly in Scotland talk about Scotland’s future relationship with Europe, and how that interrelates with our choice of a currency - rather a difficult and toxic subject for politicians, but perhaps something on which ordinary citizens could forge a way forward.”

She also said it would be “very good” for an Assembly to examine climate change.

Ms Cherry last month referred to herself as a “potential future leadership figure” in a party email.

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A party source said it was “disrespectful” to Ms Sturgeon, given there was no vacancy.

Tory MSP Maurice Golden said: “It’s a relief to hear someone senior in the SNP finally admit the 2014 independence referendum was divisive.

“For too long, Nicola Sturgeon and other nationalists have kidded themselves that it was some kind of carnival of democratic debate. A re-run of the referendum would be even worse, and is one of many reasons why it should be avoided altogether.”

Ms Cherry said: “It’s a pity Mr Golden didn’t listen to the whole speech he might have learned something. My speech was about how to prevent the lies and misinformation of the Brexit referendum in 2016 happening again and about how this could be assisted by a Citizens Assembly of the sort which I have championed in Scotland and which I am delighted to see the Scottish Government taking forward. My comments about a divisive referendum were directed at the Brexit referendum not the independence referendum.

“I went on to explain how the participative and deliberative democracy of a Citizens Assembly can assist in ensuring civilised and informed debate.

“The SNP have a longstanding commitment to proportional representation... part of our ongoing commitment to democracy and fairness. The Tories would do well to take a leaf out of our book.”