Joanna Cherry says she will not rule out future SNP leadership bid

Joanna Cherry has said she will not rule out running to be leader of the SNP in future.

The high-profile MP said the party is “overdue” a leadership contest when Nicola Sturgeon stands down.

Ms Sturgeon recently fuelled speculation about her future by saying she will “make a judgment” on whether to lead the SNP into the next Holyrood election nearer to the time.

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SNP MP Joanna Cherry
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Ms Cherry has long been critical of the party’s leadership, including on trans issues.

Appearing on the comedian Matt Forde’s Political Party show at the Edinburgh Fringe, she made her own ambitions clear.

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The Edinburgh South West MP said: “I’m very interested in being in the Scottish Parliament. I’m very interested in having executive power and being part of the Scottish Government.

"I don’t see it as something that’s going to happen in the short term for me, but I’d like to think it might happen long term.”

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Asked about potentially leading the Scottish Government, Ms Cherry said: “I think when Nicola stands down, it would be healthy for the SNP to have a leadership election. They’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, and I think that would be a very healthy exercise for my party.

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"Clearly, the person who takes over from Nicola will need 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. I wouldn’t rule myself out in the long term, why would I?

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"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 by being in government and possibly leading government.”

Earlier, Ms Cherry said she had been approached to jump ship to both Labour and the Alba Party, but had no intention of leaving the SNP.

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She said: “After independence, I think the parties will realign themselves, and I would probably end up in a sort of Scottish democratic left party, or a Scottish Labour party after independence."

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