JOANNA Cherry said she was sacked from her frontbench role by the SNP because of a "very aggressive gender identity ideology."

The MP was removed from her post as the party’s spokesperson for justice and home affairs in January last year.

She has been a fierce critic of new Scottish Government’s legislation which will make it easier to obtain a gender recognition certificate, by scrapping the medical processes and allowing a process of self-declaration. 

Opponents of the law have long argued that it could impact on women’s rights and make it easier for sexual predators to abuse others by pretending to be transgender in order to access women’s safe spaces such as refuges and changing rooms.

That has been rejected by ministers and the majority of MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee who voted five to two on Thursday to give the legislation their support. 

Appearing on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Ms Cherry was asked to give her thoughts on Nicola Sturgeon’s plan for independence. 

In June, the First Minister asked Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain to request a ruling from the Supreme Court on the legality of Holyrood staging its own vote without the agreement of Westminster.

Ms Sturgeon said she intends to hold a second referendum on October 19 next year, if the justices say she has the power to do so.

The case will be heard this week.

The First Minister said that if the court refused it would be “the fault of Westminster legislation” and she would fight the next general election as a “de facto referendum” on the single issue of independence.

“I agree with everything the First Minister has said,” Ms Cherry told the host. “

“Even if we lose the Supreme Court case that wouldn't stop the British government from coming to the negotiating table. And that's what they should do. 

“A lot of people seem to have assumed in advance that we're going to lose, and I'm not a party to this litigation, but I've been involved in previous litigations.”

Ms Cherry was instrumental in the cases to overturn Boris Johnson's suspension of parliament in the Supreme Court in September 2019, and another on the revocation of Article 50.

The MP said she would “caution people against assuming that we're going to lose the case.” 

She added: “I think there's some very strong arguments, but I'm in agreement with the First Minister that she doesn't need to flesh out her strategy on how she would use the general election as our plebiscite until we see the outcome of the Supreme Court case. 

“There has to be a recognition of the mandate the First Minister got in the last election. 

“There has to be a recognition that the Scottish Parliament the majority of MSPs want to hold a second referendum. If we cannot do that, then we need some sort of democratic event to demonstrate that the balance of opinion in Scotland has changed a bit since 2014. 

“So I'm with the First Minister on the strategy.”

Ms Cherry said she was “often portrayed as somebody who disagrees with Nicola Sturgeon.” 

“That's not the case,” she added. “I mean, we have a big disagreement in the area of women's rights and lesbian rights. 

“That's why I lost my seat on the front bench because I advocated for women's rights and lesbian rights in the face of a very aggressive gender identity ideology, and I'll continue to do that because I think it's the right thing to do.” 

The relationship between Ms Cherry and others in the party has been strained in recent years. 

At the time she was sacked, one SNP MP told The National it was because she had undermined the leadership ahead of the previous year's conference, describing it as a "cult."

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford reportedly told her it was because she upsets people. 

Out for Independence, the official LGBTQ+ wing of the SNP, has since called for the MP to lose the whip completely over her stance on gender law reform. 

Earlier this week, a number of protesters critical of the Scottish Government’s gender reforms staged a protest outside parliament.

They were backed by JK Rowling, who shared a picture of herself wearing a t-shirt claiming Ms Sturgeon was a “destroyer of women’s rights.”

Asked in a series of media interviews if she was a destroyer of women’s rights, Ms Sturgeon said “No”, she was not.

Asked about the Harry Potter author's t-shirt, Ms Sturgeon said: “You know, people are entitled to express their views and they're entitled to express their views and whatever way they think is fair. 

“I've always thought that on this issue, where people have very strong views, we should all try to treat each other with respect and that's what I will continue to do.

“In terms of the legislation, it is going through the scrutiny process in the Scottish Parliament.

“The committee that's been looking at it published its report yesterday and gave approval by majority to this legislation and the parliament as a whole will look at it in the week after the October recess. So that process of scrutiny is there.

“This bill is about reforming an existing process that is degrading and traumatic for trans people, seeking to make it less traumatic for those who want to legally change their gender. 

“It doesn't give any additional rights to trans people, nor does it take any rights away from women.”