Joanna Cherry named Chair of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee despite concerns over her views on trans rights.

The SNP’s Joanna Cherry, who is mostly known for her ‘gender critical’ views, has been appointed as Chair of Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights.

In July 2022, Cherry was elected to cover as chair of the committee when Harriet Harman temporarily stepped down, after serving as the deputy chair.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights consists of 12 members, appointed from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, to examine matters relating to human rights within the United Kingdom, as well as scrutinising every Government Bill for its compatibility with human rights.

They are currently scrutinising bills dealing with the human rights of asylum seekers in the UK, human rights at work, protecting human rights in care settings, as well the Illegal Migration Bill which the committee already found to have ‘widespread human rights failings’.

The MP for Edinburgh South was most recently involved in an ‘incident’ where she appeared to roll her eyes during a parliamentary debate on trans rights as an MP read a letter from a trans constituent, talking about her thoughts of suicide.

This incident was captured in a viral clip on Twitter but did not, of course, reach the papers in any critical report.

The moment occurred when Kirsty Blackman, the MP for Aberdeen North, was discussing the case of a trans woman in her constituency who had considered suicide, partly due to transphobia.

Cherry’s reaction in the video appeared to be one of disapproval or dismissal of the points being made about the impact on trans people and was met with widespread criticism from trans people and allies.

In response to the backlash, Cherry issued a statement to Pink News.

She criticised what she perceived as misrepresentations of her reaction during the Commons debate.

Cherry said that her “body language” was indicative of her “disapproval of claims that those of us supporting the clarification petition are causing trans people to have suicidal ideation and ‘will not rest easy until trans people are excluded from public life’.”

She argued that “raising suicide threats as a response to legitimate debate in parliament was irresponsible”, a common anti-trans attack point where it is believed that trans people weaponize suicide to manipulate others.

It is a claim without evidence or merit which seems designed to minimise the high levels of suicide in the trans community.

The MP, who sits on Sex Matters Advisory Group, endorses their principles and blocks trans people on Twitter who have never interacted with her, frequently denies being transphobic.

Her profile on the Sex Matters website, linked above, ends with the paragraph, “When relegated to the backbenches for her gender-critical views she resumed legal practice on a limited basis to defend other women unfairly discriminated against for their beliefs.”

During the SNP leadership election, Cherry was the only SNP MP to back Ash Regan, introducing her at the launch of her campaign. Regan had previously resigned in opposition to the SNP’s Gender Recognition Bill.

Both fought against their own party’s Bill, which was passed after six years of extensive consultations and cross-party support, only to be blocked by the UK Government.

Cherry has given interviews claiming she has been ‘cancelled’ whilst also claiming that she has been erased from ‘SNP history’ despite, at the time of the complaint, featuring more times on the SNP website than former leaders of the party.

MP Cherry: ‘I was erased from SNP history over trans views’ ● Senior figure attacks party over lack of support and hints at leadership bid The Scotsman23 Aug 2022By ALISTAIR GRANT Joanna Cherry appearing on comedian Matt Forde’s Political Party show at the Edinburgh Fringe One of the SNP’S most high-profile MPS has said she was effectively “cancelled” and erased from party history over her views on transgender issues. Joanna Cherry, who has received online abuse and threats, said she was “very upset” the SNP'S former chief whip in Westminster, Patrick Grady, received more internal support after a House of Commons investigation found he had sexually harassed a teenage staffer. The MP also said she will not rule out running to be leader of the SNP in future and that the party is “overdue” a contest to replace Nicola Sturgeon. Ms Cherry has long been at odds with the SNP’S leadership, including Nicola Sturgeon, over her views on transgender issues and their impact on women’s rights. She is critical of moves to allow Scots to self-identify their sex, fearing this will impact on women’s safety. Appearing on the comedian Matt Forde’s Political Party show at the Edinburgh Fringe, Ms Cherry said she was tipped off that she was going to be stripped of her SNP frontbench role in Westminster three days before it happened last year. "I think what I found most upsetting about it was the unfairness of my treatment,” she said, stressing other colleagues had “openly disagreed” with party policy and not been demoted. "That was upsetting. And also the fact that there was no acknowledgement of any of the work I’d done over the last few years before. "It was like I had been, well, I suppose, cancelled, just erased from SNP history.” In a reference to former first minister Alex Salmond, Ms Cherry said she was “not the first person in the SNP that that's happened to recently”, adding: “But it was very upsetting and bruising." The Edinburgh South West MP said she received "a series of very threatening messages" later that same day from a party member. She said: "The lack of support from my colleagues was very difficult to deal with. "On the other hand, in many ways it's the best thing that's ever happened to me, being sacked from the SNP frontbench." She said it had given her more time to concentrate on her constituency and committee work, as well as "making it easier" to speak out. Ms Cherry said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford had never reached out to check on her wellbeing. Elsewhere, she compared her own treatment unfavourably to that shown to Mr Grady. Mr Blackford was previously forced to apologise after a leaked audio recording showed him urging colleagues to "give as much support as possible" to the former chief whip. Ms Cherry said she was "glad" not to beat th es np group meeting in which this happened because there was a "very unpleasant witch hunt into who had done the recording". Asked what she thought when she heard the recording, she said: "I was very upset actually, because it was interesting to hear exhortations of support for a colleague that had been found guilty of sexual harassment, when no exhortations of support for a female colleague who had been threatened with rape by a party member had occurred. "I did take it rather personally, but on the broader issue I thought the whole episode was most unfortunate." Ms Cherry also said independence can only be achieved through cross-party input. She added that a bid to break up the Union “cannot just be about” the SNP, saying support should be sought from members of other parties who “quietly support independence”. Reflecting on the cross-party efforts to challenge Boris Johnson’s proroguing of the UK Parliamentin 2019, themp foredinburgh South West said: “I think what I learned from that is if you want to achieve anything in politics, you really have to work cross-party. “That’s the big lesson of Scottish devolution. Devolution was delivered by cross-party working. “Independence will only come with cross-party working. It can’t just be about my party. “We have to reach out to other parties, and I don’t just mean the smaller independence parties. I also mean members of other parties, who are what I call the persuadables, who quietly support independence. These people exist in the Labour Party and the Lib Dems.”
The Scotsman 24/08/22
MP Cherry: ‘I was erased from SNP history over trans views’ ● Senior figure attacks party over lack of support and hints at leadership bid The Scotsman23 Aug 2022By ALISTAIR GRANT Joanna Cherry appearing on comedian Matt Forde’s Political Party show at the Edinburgh Fringe One of the SNP’S most high-profile MPS has said she was effectively “cancelled” and erased from party history over her views on transgender issues. Joanna Cherry, who has received online abuse and threats, said she was “very upset” the SNP'S former chief whip in Westminster, Patrick Grady, received more internal support after a House of Commons investigation found he had sexually harassed a teenage staffer. The MP also said she will not rule out running to be leader of the SNP in future and that the party is “overdue” a contest to replace Nicola Sturgeon. Ms Cherry has long been at odds with the SNP’S leadership, including Nicola Sturgeon, over her views on transgender issues and their impact on women’s rights. She is critical of moves to allow Scots to self-identify their sex, fearing this will impact on women’s safety. Appearing on the comedian Matt Forde’s Political Party show at the Edinburgh Fringe, Ms Cherry said she was tipped off that she was going to be stripped of her SNP frontbench role in Westminster three days before it happened last year. "I think what I found most upsetting about it was the unfairness of my treatment,” she said, stressing other colleagues had “openly disagreed” with party policy and not been demoted. "That was upsetting. And also the fact that there was no acknowledgement of any of the work I’d done over the last few years before. "It was like I had been, well, I suppose, cancelled, just erased from SNP history.” In a reference to former first minister Alex Salmond, Ms Cherry said she was “not the first person in the SNP that that's happened to recently”, adding: “But it was very upsetting and bruising." The Edinburgh South West MP said she received "a series of very threatening messages" later that same day from a party member. She said: "The lack of support from my colleagues was very difficult to deal with. "On the other hand, in many ways it's the best thing that's ever happened to me, being sacked from the SNP frontbench." She said it had given her more time to concentrate on her constituency and committee work, as well as "making it easier" to speak out. Ms Cherry said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford had never reached out to check on her wellbeing. Elsewhere, she compared her own treatment unfavourably to that shown to Mr Grady. Mr Blackford was previously forced to apologise after a leaked audio recording showed him urging colleagues to "give as much support as possible" to the former chief whip. Ms Cherry said she was "glad" not to beat th es np group meeting in which this happened because there was a "very unpleasant witch hunt into who had done the recording". Asked what she thought when she heard the recording, she said: "I was very upset actually, because it was interesting to hear exhortations of support for a colleague that had been found guilty of sexual harassment, when no exhortations of support for a female colleague who had been threatened with rape by a party member had occurred. "I did take it rather personally, but on the broader issue I thought the whole episode was most unfortunate." Ms Cherry also said independence can only be achieved through cross-party input. She added that a bid to break up the Union “cannot just be about” the SNP, saying support should be sought from members of other parties who “quietly support independence”. Reflecting on the cross-party efforts to challenge Boris Johnson’s proroguing of the UK Parliamentin 2019, themp foredinburgh South West said: “I think what I learned from that is if you want to achieve anything in politics, you really have to work cross-party. “That’s the big lesson of Scottish devolution. Devolution was delivered by cross-party working. “Independence will only come with cross-party working. It can’t just be about my party. “We have to reach out to other parties, and I don’t just mean the smaller independence parties. I also mean members of other parties, who are what I call the persuadables, who quietly support independence. These people exist in the Labour Party and the Lib Dems.”
The Scotsman 24/08/22

Cherry also believes that universities, employers and political parties “have all been captured by a misrepresentation of the Equality Act” when it comes to trans people and that her views on trans rights cost her the chance of becoming SNP leader.