Ms Cherry, who is linked with Ms Sturgeon’s SNP predecessor Alex Salmond, had planned on challenging the First Minister’s ally Angus Robertson in the Edinburgh Central seat. This morning Ms Cherry said new measures, which demanded MPs resign their Westminster seats in order to stand in Scotland, had forced to her to back down.
She said: “It is unprecedented in our party’s history of dual mandates to demand that a parliamentarian make themselves and their constituency staff unemployed in order to be eligible to be a candidate.
“It is particularly unreasonable to demand this in the middle of a pandemic. I am not prepared to do it and so unless circumstances change, I won’t be seeking nomination for Holyrood in this election.”
It comes as the SNP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) considered plans for dual mandates during next year’s May Holyrood elections.
They would see MPs forced to resign if their seats were selected for Holyrood, which would trigger a by-election to take place on the same day as the Scottish election.
Plans would also force MPs to “secure at least £10,000 worth of funding for the subsequent by-election, so that branches in constituencies do not have to fund two election campaigns at once”.
This would have effectively stopped Ms Cherry from sitting in both London and Edinburgh.
But SNP MPs and supporters hit out at the “absurd” plans.
MP Simon Ritchie tweeted: “The leaked SNP NEC plan to charge candidates £10,000 for standing as a candidate when they hold a seat in a different Parliament is purely to stop Joanna Cherry.
“That’s why it’s being considered now. It’s so transparent as to be absurd.”
The SNP’s former deputy leader at Westminster, Kirsty Blackman, told the National: “If a sitting MP decides to stand as an MSP, I do understand that there are significant funding issues because that individual is causing a by-election.
“There are also local organisational issues with running one campaign immediately after another.
“My big concern about asking an MP to stand down much in advance of a Holyrood election is that this will have knock on implications for their staff.
“Asking SNP MPs to do this effectively means that only MPs who are happy to see their staff jobless will be able to stand for Holyrood.
“This is because their MP staff would no longer have a job either for the interim period or if the MP doesn’t get elected as an MSP.
“I hope the NEC considers this when taking any decision about MPs standing for Holyrood selection.”
Solicitor and SNP supporter Mike Dailly added: “Selecting any prospective party candidate for the Scottish Parliament should be made by local party members on the basis of who they believe is best to represent them.
“All other considerations are irrelevant. Nor should barriers be put in the way of MPs seeking the office of MSP.”
Another SNP supporter tweeted: This was done to put a barrier up for Joanna Cherry.
“Joanna should crowd fund for the £10k. She’d raise that amount in a few hours.”
One added: “SNP’s NEC time would be better spent on sorting out their complaints procedure rather than coming up with daft after the event rules to block @joannaccherry
“Many members are hanging on by their fingertips to their membership. Its high time the NEC took a long hard look at itself.”
It comes after Ms Sturgeon was warned divisions in her Nationalist party could leave her dreams of ripping Scotland from the UK in tatters.
Leading polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice said ongoing rifts in the nationalist party could cost the Scottish First Minister her goal of Scottish independence.
He said splits in the SNP could be the “biggest risk” to the party’s future aims for a second independence referendum and stop it from “the realisation of their ambitions”