THE author JK Rowling has praised the SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC for being “incredibly brave” for standing up for women’s rights amidst threats of physical violence.

Ms Rowling, who gave £1m to the No campaign in 2014, also revealed the pair had had “private chats” about the issue, despite their differences on the constitution.

“She’s been incredibly brave in standing up for women in such a hostile climate and Joanna knows how much I admire her for it,” Ms Rowling wrote on Twitter today.

Ms Cherry thanked Ms Rowling and said: "We may disagree on Scotland’s constitutional future but we know how to disagree respectfully and we are 100% in agreement on the importance of defending women's rights and free speech. I'm proud to stand with you."

Both women are supporters of sex-based rights who have suffered threats and abuse for their views on gender identity and transgender issues.

Their critics accuse them of being trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or Terfs.

Last year, Ms Cherry issued an extraordinary public plea to the First Minister to intervene over the abuse she was suffering from SNP activists who disagreed with her over transgender issues.

She wrote: "When is someone in the leadership of my party going to call out the campaign of abuse, smears and violent intimidation against me? 

"I am pleading with our leader Nicola Sturgeon to do something or at the very least acknowledge the problem I face."

She was later sacked from the SNP's front bench at Westminster, despite success as its justice spokesperson.

READ MORE: SNP MP Joanna Cherry pleads with Nicola Sturgeon to call out 'abuse and smears'

On Monday, Ms Rowling posted one of the examples of the threats she had received on Twitter, a message saying: “I wish you a very nice pipebomb in mailbox”.

She added drily: “Now hundreds of trans activists have threatened to beat, rape, assassinate and bomb me I’ve realised that this movement poses no risk to women whatsoever.”

In response, Ms Cherry backed the author.

The Edinburgh South West MP wrote: “She’s right that the escalation from harassment of women who speak up to trying to get them sacked or criminalised to threats of violence is common.

"It’s time more people with power called this out.”

After another Twitter user said the Harry Potter and Cormoran Strike author wouldn’t support her back because the MP wanted independence, Ms Rowling responded to say that she did. 

Despite giving £1m to the pro-Union Better Together campaign during the 2014 independence referendum, she said: “You’re wrong! I stand 100% with Joanna on this, as she already knows, because we’ve had private chats about it. She’s been incredibly brave in standing up for women in such a hostile climate and Joanna knows how much I admire her for it.”

Ms Cherry replied: “Thank you @jk_rowling.  We may disagree on Scotland’s constitutional future but we know how to disagree respectfully & we are 100% in agreement on the importance of defending #WomensRights & #FreeSpeech. 

“I’m proud to stand with you. #WomenWontWheesht."

Ms Rowling replied with a thumbs up emoji and the hashtag #WomenWontWeesht, which is used by supporters of sex-based rights to show they wil not be silenced on the issue.

Ms Cherry is currently conducting the defence of a Scots feminist charged with a hate crime.

Marion Millar, a 50-year-old accountant from Airdrie who supports sex-based rights for women and opposes easing transgender self-identification, has been accused of posting allegedly homophobic and transphobic material on social media in 2019 and 2020.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry 'sacked' from SNP front bench in Westminster

She was charged in June under under Section 127 of the 2003 Communications Act, which criminalises “grossly offensive” messages, with a “hate crime aggravator”. 

She had been due to have a preliminary bail hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court today, but prosecutors last week delayed it until August 17.

However she and her supporters are still having a socially-distanced demonstration today at noon at Glasgow Green, the traditional site of suffragette rallies in the city.

One of those involved is the Father Ted comedy writer Graham Linehan, who joined the group of self-styled 'Scottish Witches' in Glasgow for breakfast this morning.

Mr Linehan has also been an outspoken critic of gender identity reforms, and been accused of transphobia.

For Women Scotland, which is backing Ms Millar, said of the Cherry-Rowling exchange: "The idea that people have to agree on every aspect politically or socially is one of the troubling aspects of social media driven political thought.

"It has given rise to idiotic ideas of feminists being aligned to the Christian right (amongst other ideas)."

READ MORE: Court delay for Scots feminist charged with 'hate crime'

Gender-critical feminists such as Ms Millar disagree with those LGBT activists who think gender identity should be prioritised over biological sex in government policy and the law.

The former fear the advance of transgender rights is at the expense of hard-won women’s rights, while the latter see the focus on biological sex as transphobic. 

The STUC has blamed years of “dithering and delay” by the Scottish Government over gender recognition reforms for helping to create a “toxic environment” over the issue.

SNP ministers are committed to simplifying the process by which a trans person can legally obtain gender recognition, but have yet to legislate on an issue they know divides their party.

Alex Salmond’s has tried to exploit the SNP split by saying it is a better champion of women's rights.