IAN Blackford has denied his leadership of the SNP at Westminster has failed in calling out abuse suffered by Joanna Cherry.

Ms Cherry, has spoken of the abuse and harassment she has faced both by SNP members and others.

The Edinburgh South West MP has told how she considered leaving elected politics due to the level of abuse and threats she receives.

Last year, Ms Cherry took aim at the SNP leadership over the abuse she claimed to have received over her stance on reforming gender recognition and trans rights, which has drawn criticism from some party activists.

In a series of tweets, Ms Cherry, suggested that the abuse is “led by a number of actors, some of whom are SNP members”.

HeraldScotland: Joanna CherryJoanna Cherry

She added that "despite my complaints, indeed pleas for help, nothing has been done to address this issue”.

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

Mr Blackford told the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists' Association that there has been no failure in his leadership in rooting out abuse and supporting Ms Cherry.

Mr Blackford insisted that he was “concerned that there’s toxicity in our politics”, adding that “we’ve all got a responsibility to make sure that we can get to a better place”.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry says she contemplated leaving politics due to abuse and threats

He added: “Since I became SNP Westminster leader in 2017, I made clear that I wanted to make sure that we did offer pastoral support in a broad sense – whether that may be a member of parliament or whether that be a member of staff.

“It’s really important that we do offer that support to people. I can absolutely assure you that that is done and is done in all cases.

“I will always make sure that every colleague, whether that’s a member of parliament or whether its a member of staff will be offered support.”

Mr Blackford was asked whether he regretted firing Ms Cherry from the SNP front bench at Westminster.

He said: “I have to make decisions in terms of who should be on my front bench.

“Every party leader does that - the Prime Minister does that with his Cabinet and Keir Starmer does it with the Labour (shadow ) cabinet.

“It’s up to me to choose the people that I think are best suited to serve in a collective way.”

READ MORE: Patricia Gibson named as SNP MP subject of Westminster 'sex pest' complaint

Mr Blackford also defended his decision to allow North Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson to remain on his frontbench while she is investigated over sexual harassment complaints made by an SNP staffer.

Ms Gibson has denied the allegations, saying the claims are "malicious" and "without any foundation".

Mr Blackford said: “At the end of the day, there are complaints that have been made and these complaints have to be heard. We will deal with those accordingly.

“There’s no reason at the moment that I should be taking any particular action against Patricia."

“Justice has got to prevail and whether it’s Patricia or anyone else, they along with the complainant have got the right to that process to be heard without being judged ahead of any completion of the process.”