Joanna Cherry has hit back at Ian Blackford after her former boss described her as "bitter".

The SNP's former Westminster leader, who stood down as an MP at the general election, made the description of Ms Cherry, who lost her seat on Thursday, in a newpapaper interview today.

He was commenting after Ms Cherry put the blame for the SNP's humiliating defeat on Thursday onto him and former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

She said the two politicians had failed to capitalise on Brexit and Boris Johnson's unpopularity in Scotland while he was Prime Minister to in order to push forward with the indepenendence case. She added that neither Ms Sturgeon nor Mr Blackford had fostered internal debate in the party.

In response to Ms Cherry’s comments on election night, Mr Blackford told the Sunday Mail: “She is just someone who is bitter, never mind losing her seat.

“I have to look at everything I did when I was Westminster leader and of course I did have a good relationship with Nicola.

“Should I have pushed more on certain things? I don’t know.”

Writing on X, formerly Twitter earlier today, Ms Cherry said: "No Ian Blackford I’m not bitter at all. For me this is something of a liberation. Although I feel awful for my staff. It’s time the truth of the last decade was told and I mean the full truth including your leadership failings and appalling behaviour towards me."

Ms Cherry was famously sacked from the party's Westminster frontbenches under Mr Blackford's leadership after she disagreed with his and Ms Sturgeon's direction, particularly over gender reform laws.

Speaking to Forth 1 News in the early hours of Friday, the former SNP for Edinburgh South West said: “I think our vote got squeezed on two sides, on one side those of our supporters who passionately believe in the cause of Scottish independence feel like we have not done enough. And I think they are right about that.

“History will show that major opportunities were squandered by Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford during the Brexit years and during the Boris years.”

Ms Cherry said she was “dismayed” to hear Ms Sturgeon, who appeared on ITV as an election commentator, talking about the party in the third person “as if she has nothing to do with it and not taking any responsibility for what’s happened to the party tonight”.

Faced with criticisms of her leadership, Ms Sturgeon appeared to blame Mr Swinney's campaign.

“I think for anybody in the current leadership to sort of take refuge in somehow it’s all my fault … would just be taking the easy solution or response to this, rather than looking seriously and hard at what the real issues are,” she said.

The SNP had “left themselves between two stools on the independence question”, she said, adding that placing the constitution on the front page of the party’s manifesto “was never followed through on a sort of day-to-day basis in the campaign”.

In his interview with the Sunday Mail, Mr Blackford said First Minister John Swinney must show voters he can be trusted as First Minister after a "very clear message" was sent to the SNP in the General Election results.

Mr Blackford, who led the SNP in the Commons between 2017 and 2022, appeared to back Mr Swinney's leadership, but added there "isn't really anybody else" who could take on the job.

It comes after the SNP fell to just nine seats at Westminster, down from 48 in 2019.

The party was dealt a further blow on Saturday afternoon when the final UK constituency seat - Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire, was taken by the Liberal Democrats.

While the seat is new under boundary changes, it encompasses part of former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy's Ross, Skye and Lochaber seat which was lost to Mr Blackford in 2015.

Mr Blackford said the results showed the electorate had delivered a "very clear message", adding: "They're p****d off."

He said: "You can't sugar coat any of this. It's up to John what the party does but the electorate have delivered a very clear message to us - primarily they're p****d off.

"I don't think anyone is pointing the finger at John and saying he has to go," he said.

"He's inherited this and he has to own it in terms of fixing it.

"It's not long until 2026.

"You've got some time and it can be turned around but you need to demonstrate that you can be trusted."

Asked by the publication if Mr Swinney would be able to turn the party's fortunes around, he said: "Time will tell but there isn't really anybody else, so he's the man for it."