Some say sacking will reassure voters worried about transphobia, but others say it will have ‘chilling effect’ on debate

Last Wednesday’s SNP Westminster group meeting was fraught, by all accounts, with MP after MP telling leader Ian Blackford that they’d had enough. Some were on the verge of tears, reporting lengthy phone calls persuading valued activists not to leave the party, while others raised angry exchanges and repeated threats to sue on social media.

The context was the increasingly toxic row within the SNP over transgender law reform, and later that evening, the party leader, Nicola Sturgeon posted a video statement on Twitter in which she stated categorically that there was “zero tolerance” towards transphobia in her party.

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