JOANNA Cherry has revealed her upset at hearing fellow SNP MPs giving their support to a colleague guilty of sexual misconduct while the abuse she suffered was ignored. 

To audible gasps, she told an Edinburgh Fringe event neither Nicola Sturgeon or SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford gave her any support after she received rape threats.

There had been “no support whatsoever” from the party leadership, she said, suggesting it was because people were “afraid” to be seen defending her because of her gender critical views.

She is opposed to Scottish Government plans to let people self-identify as the opposite sex for most legal purposes without any "gatekeeping", fearing this could put women at risk.

In June, the Glasgow North MP Patrick Grady, a former SNP chief whip, was found guilty of sexual misconduct by a Westminster watchdog, which found he had made unwanted advances to a young male staffer while drunk in a pub in 2016.

Despite Mr Blackford previously boasting of his party’s zero tolerance approach to harassment, a leaked recording of the weekly meeting of SNP MPs revealed he had urged other MPs to give Mr Grady their support and they responded with cries of “hear, hear”.

It led to calls for Mr Blackford’s resignation, while Nicola Sturgeon called the contents of the recording “utterly unacceptable” and offered to meet Mr Grady’s victim.

Mr Grady now sits as an Independent MP.

Speaking to comedian Matt Forde for a recording of The Political Party podcast at Gilded Balloon Teviot, Ms Cherry was asked about the contrast between her cold-shoulder treatment and the warm support shown to Mr Grady in the leaking recording.

She said she hadn’t been at the meeting, but had heard the tape.

She said: “Personally, I was very upset. I thought it was interesting to hear exhortations of support for a colleague that had been found guilty of sexual harassment and no exhortations of support for a female colleague who had been threatened with rape by a party member.

“I did take it rather personally. I thought it was most unfortunate.”

Ms Cherry, a lesbian, also spoke of being abused online for her gender critical beliefs.

She said she believed she was now “in the fight of my life, to defend women’s rights, and also to defend the right of lesbians like me to be same sex attracted, and also gay men to be same sex attracted.”

She said she was sacked form the SNP front bench last year “because I have dared to stick up for women’s rights and lesbian rights”.

That same night, “I received a series of very threatening messages from someone who turned out to be a party member threatening to rape me and that was really upsetting for me and my then girlfriend, it was very difficult to deal with.

“And the lack of support from my colleagues was very difficult to deal with.” 

However she also said there had been a positive spin-off, in that she had been able to spend more time on constituency work and could speak her mind freely.

Asked if Ms Sturgeon or Mr Blackford had reached out to her to offer support, the Edinburgh South West MP said: “No, never. I'm sorry to have to say that, but I'm going to have to answer your question honestly. No, they haven't.”

Asked why she thought that was the case, she said: “I don't know. You'd have to ask them. 

“As a result of the no-debate culture, we have created an area in our political discourse, where it's all right for women to be threatened, have death threats and rape threats, and people won’t defend them. 

“Perhaps because, as I said earlier, people are afraid that if they defended me or supported me, they themselves will be accused of being transphobic. Although I hasten to add, I'm not transphobic and it'd be a bit surprising if I was given my history.

“And so I can't really answer that question, but it's evident there's been no public support and there's been no support behind the scenes. 

“There has been support from many members of the party, and many other parliamentarians. 

“But there's been no support whatsoever from the [SNP] leadership and I don't understand why. You would have to ask them. As I say, I think maybe they are afraid that if they were seen to be supporting me they would be tarred with the same brush and it's just a very unfortunate state of affairs that we have gotten ourselves into.

“But privately from colleagues I have a lot of support. 

“I think a minority of people, probably what they most wanted me to do, was to leave the SNP. But I have no intention of leaving the SNP. 

“From my childhood, I went to meetings of the party with my dad. 

“I gave up quite a successful career to be an SNP MP and I like to think I've put a lot of time and effort into it. And you know, politics is a long game. I think this era will pass. 

“I think the era of no-debate is passing.”