JOANNA Cherry has quit the ruling body of the SNP, becoming the second member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to do so in two days.

The Edinburgh South West MP announced her decision to step down from the NEC late yesterday afternoon on social media.

Her resignation follows that of Douglas Chapman MP who announced he was resigning as the party’s national treasurer on Saturday.

Cherry, a QC, who was sacked as the SNP’s spokesperson on justice and home affairs at Westminster earlier this year, said she was quitting as she had been prevented from doing her job on the panel.

Cherry wrote on Twitter: “I’ve resigned from the NEC of the SNP. A number of factors have prevented me from fulfilling the mandate party members gave me to improve transparency and scrutiny and to uphold the party’s constitution, I won’t be making any further comment at this stage.”

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Both Cherry and Chapman have supported the aims of the Common Weal Group (CWG) inside the SNP which advocated more transparency, a greater role for members and more pressing work to be carried out in building the case for independence.

At last year’s elections to the NEC at the party’s conference in November, the SNP CWG took key roles on the body ousting close allies of the leadership such as Alyn Smith.

The Stirling MP was furious at losing his position as policy development convener to the CWG supporter Chris Hanlon, dismissing the CWG as “a faction” and condemning Cherry for “disloyalty”.

Critics of Scottish Government policy on reform of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) also got elected to the NEC at the time, including Caroline McAllister as national women’s convener and Lynne Anderson as national equalities convener.

McAllister and Anderson have since defected to Alba with the roles on the NEC going to Rhiannon Spear and Fiona Robertson, supporters of government policy on GRA reform.

Colin Beattie, the former national treasurer who lost his role to Chapman, will now return to the post.

In a further move, Marco Biagi, the former SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central, quit his position as the head of the party’s “independence taskforce” last week.

Biagi, a former minister in the Scottish Government, said his role on the taskforce had turned out to be the “worst job I’ve ever had”.

READ MORE: Douglas Chapman steps down as SNP treasurer citing lack of 'financial information'

Following Cherry’s resignation, Mandy Rhodes, the editor of Holyrood magazine, commented: “It’s almost if the SNP shouldn’t have bothered going through the exercise of NEC elections last time around. Lack of transparency appears a common theme in exits. Presumably the new guard will raise no such complaints...”

Commenting before Cherry announced her resignation from the NEC, National columnist Lesley Riddoch said the “low-key resignations of Douglas Chapman and Marco Biagi constitute a polite, final warning”, adding “big change in the SNP top team is needed now”.

Craig Berry, who founded the SNP CWG before defecting to Alba ahead of the election, commented: “A quarter of those elected to the SNP NEC have resigned. Those that have been elected on a reform manifesto are all saying the same thing – there is currently no route to reform the party under the current leadership. It’s time for them to go.”

Berry said upon leaving the SNP he believed the party “in its present state is unreformable” and had decided to join Alba to “seek to build a left-wing, progressive wing of the independence movement elsewhere”.

Cherry recently announced a return to work after a period of poor health.

The SNP have been approached for comment.