JOANNA Cherry has said Peter Murrell is “very lucky” not to have been suspended from the SNP pending the result of the investigation into SNP finances.

Writing in The National, the SNP MP complained that it is not “fair” or “in accordance with the principles of natural justice” that others have not been granted the same “leniency” from the party.

Following the former SNP CEO’s arrest and subsequent release last week, he was not suspended by the party.

However, Cherry writes, the likes of Michelle Thomson did see their membership suspended due to a police probe.

Thomson (below), now the SNP MSP for Falkirk East, was suspended while serving as an MP as police looked into “alleged irregularities” around property dealings – Thomson denied wrongdoing and there were no criminal proceedings.

The National:

Elsewhere, Cherry said currency commentator Tim Rideout had been suspended for six months over an “ill-judged tweet”, before saying gender critical women have been kicked out of the party for “exercising their right to freedom of belief and freedom of speech”.

“This difference in approach is neither fair, nor in accordance with the principles of natural justice. In some cases it might even amount to unlawful discrimination,” she alleged.

“The anomalies in how the SNP complaints and disciplinary process has been applied are part of a much wider problem with the party’s management which is now in the public domain because of recent events,” she added.

Elsewhere in the column, Cherry argued that she wants to “save the SNP” amid the current transparency issues – but said this is not a short-term problem.

“There are still many people in the SNP and wider movement that seem to see the current mess as a wrinkle to be gotten over and who are keen to point out that our scandals aren’t as bad those of other parties,” she wrote.  

“Many people have been wheeshting for indy for so long that it is hard to break from that mindset.

“So, in protecting the cause of independence, I also want to save the SNP, but this can only be done if we look at what has gone wrong, how it was able to go wrong and make sure it can never happen again.”

The SNP have been contacted for comment.

Joanna’s full column is available to read here