SNP MP Joanna Cherry has said she is “prepared to take whatever legal action is necessary” against the Scottish comedy club that cancelled her appearance after saying staff had refused to work the event.

Cherry, who has been outspoken in her opposition to gender reform, said she had sought legal advice after The Stand club in Edinburgh said it would not be hosting her as planned on August 10.

The MP's lawyers said it was "evident" that the cancellation connected to her views on trans rights.

In a letter sent to the venue, Cherry’s legal team make clear that the MP will take the issue to court, unless they are provided with:

  • A statement and acknowledgment in agreed terms that The Stand has acted unlawfully by discriminating against our client.
  • An accompanying apology, the terms of which would require to be agreed in advance.
  • Restoration of the event on 10th August (or a date in the Fringe calendar in 2023 at the same venue).

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry: When I wrote about discrimination, I didn’t expect to be next

The letter goes on: “If you agree to these reasonable requests, our client is willing to waive any claim for damages (including for defamation) or legal costs. She wishes to make clear now that should she pursue damages, any damages awarded to her would be paid to a charity of her choice.

“If you are not prepared to agree to the above, our client’s intention is to pursue all legal remedies open to her in court.”

Cherry's team said The Stand would be given seven days to respond, after which she would lodge legal action at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Ultimately, the club is owned by Tommy Sheppard, a fellow MP and colleague of Cherry on the SNP benches at Westminster

The MP, who is being represented by David McKie of Levy & McRae, has also published legal advice from top lawyer Aidan O'Neill KC. 

In their letter to The Stand, Cherry's legal team state: "The clear and unequivocal opinion of senior counsel and by us is that your decision is unlawful and
discriminatory. There is no defence available to you which would or could justify the decision as a matter of law."

Cherry's appearance at an "In Conversation With ..." event at the Edinburgh Fringe had been arranged by Glasgow-based Fair Pley Productions.

The Stand, which is owned and operated by Salt ‘n’ Sauce Promotions Limited, cancelled the event because staff members refused to promote it or work.

In a statement released earlier in May, the club said: “Following extensive discussions with our staff, it has become clear that a number of The Stand’s key operational staff, including venue management and box office personnel, are unwilling to work on this event.

“As we have previously stated, we will ensure that their views are respected. We will not compel our staff to work on this event and so have concluded the event is unable to proceed on a properly staffed, safe and legally compliant basis.

“We advised the show’s producers, Fair Pley Productions, of this operational issue and they advised Joanna Cherry that it is no longer possible to host the event in our venue.”

Cherry said in a statement accompanying the publication of the legal advice and letter: "I hope that my actions in defending myself will give courage to everyone, particularly women who wish to express views on legitimate issues of public interest. That, after all, is the very job of a politician and one of the reasons I entered politics in the first place."

The Stand has been approached for comment.