JOANNA Cherry has hit out over “backstabbing” politicians days after claiming there was a “smear campaign” against her – possibly from within her own party.

The SNP’s justice and home affairs spokeswoman at Westminster took to social media to make the comments after Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, when Theresa May faced calls by Tory backbencher Sir Peter Bone to step down next week.

“At PMQs [Tory MP] Peter Bone tells Theresa May that loyal Tories want her to resign … I’ll say this much for the Conservatives – at least they do their backstabbing in public,” MP Cherry wrote on Twitter.

The Edinburgh South West MP spoke to the Sunday National at the weekend and said smears were being made against her.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry hits out at 'smear campaign' and calls for SNP unity

She told our sister paper: “I am confident I will survive the attempts to smear my reputation.

“I won’t lie when I say it hurts that they may have come from within my own party.”

On Sunday, she also tweeted: “Lies are being told about me in some newspapers today. At present I’m not able to give my side of the story. I hope to be in a position to do so soon. Meantime I’m overwhelmed by the support from constituents, @theSNP members & #Yessers. Thank you.”

A number of former members of Cherry’s office staff have made formal complaints to Commons officials over claims of bullying. She strongly denies the allegations.

The episode has saddened some inside the party.

One senior figure told The National: “If there are complaints there are procedures in place which should be followed but they should not be made into a political football.

“And I think it’s rather sad the complaints are being used to try to tarnish the reputation of one of the most passionate and able parliamentary representatives in the entire UK. Joanna is someone with cross-party respect in the chamber and puts a lot of work into what she does.”

Several SNP parliamentarians – including MSPs Joan McAlpine and Ruth Maguire – publicly backed Cherry when the newspaper articles were published on Saturday and Sunday. Support came from Kirsty Hughes, director of pro-EU think tank the Scottish Centre on European Relations.

On Monday, Nicola Sturgeon described Cherry as “hugely talented” and “a massive asset to the SNP and the Westminster parliamentary group”.

The First Minister also denied there was any party infighting, saying it was a “mass movement” where “vibrant debates” took place. She added that any complaints had to be “properly considered under due process, not in the pages of the media”.

Cherry later thanked the First Minister on Twitter for her support and said she echoed “the views on the need for due process”.

The allegations surfaced days after the Edinburgh MP spoke of being abused on social media, including receiving death threats for which she required a police presence outside her office.

Cherry, a QC, was elected MP for Edinburgh South West in 2015 and held the seat in 2017.

She was among a cross-party group of Scottish politicians – which included party colleague Alyn Smith and the GreensAndy Wightman – who took a successful case to the European Court of Justice to argue the UK should be able to unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU.

Cherry is seen as a rising star inside the party and is being talked about by some as a possible successor to Sturgeon as SNP leader and First Minister.

Her name has been linked as a possible SNP contender to oust Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson from her Edinburgh Central seat.