SNP MPs have clashed in public over the party's Gender Recognition Reform Bill after one of Nicola Sturgeon's allies suggested that those who oppose the bill should leave the party.
Alyn Smith had told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland that his colleagues are “obliged to defend the SNP position” over the proposed gender laws as it was in the manifesto.
But Joanna Cherry, one of the critics of the policy, hit back on Twitter. She said self-identification for trans people was not on the SNP manifesto, adding that "we rebels are going nowhere".
The MP for Edinburgh South West said: "Self identification was not promised in the SNP manifesto and our conference did not debate never mind back it.
"We rebels are going nowhere particularly now that events have substantiated our legitimate concerns. I hope that’s clear."
She added: "Apart from anything else many of us have resisted years of bullying. Why on Earth would we give up now?"
Stirling MP Smith had been asked if he regretted speaking out against colleagues who oppose gender recognition reforms in light of the case of Isla Bryson.
There was a public backlash after transgender rapist Bryson had initially been remanded to Cornton Vale women's prison. Bryson was moved to HMP Edinburgh after the uproar.
Smith replied: “No, not in the slightest. The SNP is a collective. We had a rip-roaring debate within the SNP and then we reach a collective view, then it is up to any SNP candidate to defend that view.
“Do I agree with every single item of SNP policy? No, I don’t, I’ve got my doubts about some, but I stand on an SNP ticket, therefore I am obliged to defend the SNP proposition and defend the SNP position because the collective is more important than the individual.
“If you want to be an individual, stand as an individual and see how you get on. If you stand on a manifesto commitment you need to implement it and respect the mandate that you were given by your party members who you serve.”
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