SNP's national secretary urged to quit over Joanna Cherry row

The SNP’s national secretary has been urged to quit over the row which resulted in Joanna Cherry abandoning her bid to stand at Holyrood in next year’s Scottish election

Joanna Cherry won't now be standing for Holyrood

.Angus MacLeod is facing the call to go from national executive committee member Chris McEleny amid claims the row over Ms Cherry’s fate, and a reported move to block Glasgow Cathcart MSP James Dornan standing again, has caused the party “great injury.”Mr McEleny, the current SNP group leader on Inverclyde Council, is proposing to take over from MacLeod and is pledging to reverse the change affecting Ms Cherry.The current Edinburgh South West MP had been planning to seek the party’s candidacy for Edinburgh Central at Holyrood next May in a keenly anticipated battle with former Westminster leader Angus Robertson, a close ally of Nicola Sturgeon.But she says a rule change approved by the SNP’s governing body means she would have to resign as an MP first which she was not prepared to do.Mr McEleny said that the situation with Ms Cherry has robbed SNP members in the constituency of their “constitutional right” to determine their.“This is an outrage to all that hold the value of internal party democracy to a level of fundamental importance,” he added.Mr McEleny said that Mr MacLeod bore ultimate “responsibility” for the situation.“The National Secretary is a thoroughly decent person, and I have no doubt that actions that have been carried out in his name have perhaps not been sanctioned by him,” he said.“Inaction is in itself though equally unacceptable. It is with regret then that in order for the party to put this saga quickly behind us, the National Secretary must immediately resign for the good of the party and for the greater good of the independence cause.”Mr Dornan had initially indicated that he was standing down as an MSP next year, but later changed his mind. A move then emerged to make his seat an all female short-list, although this was later rescinded.Mr McEleny, who is standing against SNP MSP Stuart McMillan for selection as the SNP candidate for Greenock and Inverclyde, said he would only serve as acting national secretary until the next SNP conference. He pledged to suspend the ruling on dual mandates if he takes over a bring a more “thought out” proposal before members at the next conference.An SNP spokesperson said: “We do not comment on internal party matters.”

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