Sturgeon accused of ignoring Scottish voters
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Joanna Cherry, Edinburgh South West MP, indicated she was considering standing in a future leadership race within the party. She further appeared to take a dig at the ways Ms Sturgeon took on the top job, criticising the lack of a contest.
The MP has fallen out on multiple occasions with her party boss and was even tipped at one point to sensationally quit in favour of Alex Salmond’s new pro-independence party.
She was sacked from her position as an SNP frontbencher in Westminster last year after a row over transgender rights.
Speaking about Ms Sturgeon and her future at an event at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival earlier this week, Ms Cherry said: “I think when Nicola stands down it would be healthy for the SNP to have a leadership election.
“We’ve not had one since 2004. We’re kind of overdue one.
“And that election should not be about personalities.
“It should be about ideas and policy and strategy.”
Ms Cherry is currently ineligible to stand for the SNP leadership as she is a member of the Parliament of Westminster rather than in Holyrood.
However, she said she wanted to become an MSP and take on a role in a future Scottish government.
She said: “Clearly, the person who takes over from Nicola will have to be a member of the Scottish Parliament because the SNP leader has to be capable of being First Minister.
“Clearly, that’s not me. So I’m not a candidate for the SNP leadership in the short term.
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“I wouldn’t rule myself out in the long term. Why would I? Why would I have left my career and gone into politics unless I was ambitious to achieve change?
“And the way you achieve change is being in government and possibly leading the government.”
The MP added: “I would love to be in the Scottish Parliament. I would love to be in an independent Scottish Parliament.”
Speculation about the future of Ms Sturgeon has ramped up in recent weeks with the First Minister vowing to plough ahead with an independence referendum next year despite a lack of support among the Scottish public.
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In April she said she suspected “I would make way for somebody else” if Scotland voted against quitting the UK.
“I’m in the fortunate position having been in politics for a long time,” she added.
“I’m not about to give it up, but when I do, I hopefully will still be relatively young and if I do look forward to the possibility of doing other things later in life.”
Only 29 percent of Scots want a new independence vote next year according to an Ipsos survey published last week.
A court case is currently taking place to determine whether Ms Sturgeon has the authority to hold a referendum next year as she wishes without the consent from Westminster.
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