SNP chiefs are to be urged this weekend to consider whether the party could adopt a mechanism to stop some of its MPs from standing in next year’s Holyrood election.

Members of the party’s ruling National Executive Committee, which is due to meet tomorrow, are being asked if they can introduce a way to prevent parliamentarians elected to Westminster in December from making a bid to switch to the Scottish parliament in May 2021.

Joanna Cherry is the only SNP MP who has so far announced she will enter the party’s selection process for the Holyrood poll next year, but other senior MPs – including the party’s deputy leader Kirsty Blackman and Westminster health spokeswoman Philippa Whitford – are being encouraged to stand. Several more Westminster figures are said to be contemplating trying for an Edinburgh seat.

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Some SNP MSPs are said to be angered about negative comparisons being made between the strength of the Holyrood group and their counterparts in the Commons.

High profile MPs such as Cherry, Mhairi Black, Alyn Smith and Ian Blackford have hit the headlines across the UK and in Europe for their barnstorming speeches, their work in opposing Brexit and holding the UK Government to account.

The National: Ian Blackford has made headlines for admonishing Johnson and other UK governmentsIan Blackford has made headlines for admonishing Johnson and other UK governments

But the Holyrood insiders stress being an opposition MP holding the Tories to account is a different type of job from being a member of the governing party at Holyrood, and delivering policies which affect millions of people’s lives.

“Some in Holyrood are incandescent about MPs trying to move to Holyrood. It’s not clear if there is anything they can do, but the matter is to be brought up at the NEC meeting for discussion and the NEC are to be asked if the party can do something,” one insider told The National.

“It’s not so much about Joanna’s ambition to stand in Edinburgh Central – though she might be the lightning rod for the discussion – it’s about the wider issue of other MPs deciding to stand too. Most of the people who might be heading up to Holyrood haven’t made any announcements about their intentions.”

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The insider added: “The issue is not on the agenda formally but it is of sufficient concern. It will be brought up in the context of other items. There is feeling there is real talent in the team up in Holyrood. And of course there is the matter of money.

“It could cost the party several million pounds to fight a number of by-elections, in addition to the cost to the taxpayer of administering it.”

Asked if there was a sense of rivalry between the two groups of parliamentarians, the source said: “There could be a bit of an issue of not wanting too much competition in the Scottish Parliament.”

The National: Aileen Campbell is standing down from her cabinet role to spend more time with her familyAileen Campbell is standing down from her cabinet role to spend more time with her family

Seven SNP MSPs have announced they are standing down ahead of the next election.

They are Cabinet Secretaries Michael Russell and Aileen Campbell, and backbenchers Bruce Crawford, Richard Lyle, James Dornan, Gail Ross and Stewart Stevenson. The string of announcements has prompted speculation about who could succeed them.

A second insider said: “People at Westminster have every right to go for a Holyrood seat if they want. The issue is entirely a matter for the membership in their area. Let’s have competition. The more people who put themselves forward the better.

“There does seem to me to be quite a lot of vacancies to fill anyway.

“I can see why some MPs would want to go to Holyrood. If you’re a talented SNP MP, do you want to spend the next five or 10 years at Westminster, or would you prefer to get into Holyrood, become a minister and achieve things.”

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A third added another issue could be which seats are set aside for all female shortlists.

Ahead of the 2016 election the party decided that where a male SNP MSP was standing down, his successor should be selected from a women only list of candidates.

To date the most closely watched internal contest to become a party candidate in May next year is in Edinburgh Central, where both Cherry, who is the party’s home affairs and justice spokeswoman at Westminster, and former party deputy leader Angus Robertson have thrown their hats into the ring.

Both are regarded as potential successors to Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and SNP leader when the time comes for her to stand down.

The seat is held by the former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who is to stand down ahead of the May election.