Comedy club apologises to MP for cancelling show and agrees to host it

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A comedy club has backed down in its row with MP Joanna Cherry, apologising for cancelling her show and agreeing it will go ahead as planned.

The Stand Comedy Club had said it would not host the In Conversation With interview event with the SNP MP because some of its staff were unwilling to work at it due to her views on trans rights.

Ms Cherry, who represents Edinburgh South West, had threatened to take the club to court unless it backed down, and on Friday it admitted the cancellation had been “unfair and constituted unlawful discrimination” against her.

A club spokesman said: “We now publicly and unreservedly apologise to Ms Cherry.

Joanna Cherry outside Scottish Parliament
Joanna Cherry’s interview event at The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh, will now go ahead after the venue backed down (Lesley Martin/PA)

“The Stand will donate our share of the profit from the event to one of our partner charities, Edinburgh Food Project.”

Ms Cherry has been a vocal critic of the Scottish Government’s gender recognition reforms.

The club had previously said “key operational staff” had raised concerns about the MP’s views and made clear they did not want to work at the event, which is part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.

Ms Cherry had announced her intention to sue if the club did not go ahead with the event, vowing to “take whatever legal action is necessary to vindicate my right to not be misrepresented and not to be discriminated against”.

The club in Edinburgh, which was co-founded by SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, said it had taken its own legal advice before making its apology.

The Stand said management of the event will be discussed with staff in the coming weeks.

A spokesman said: “We have always been clear that we oppose all forms of discrimination and recognise the rights of individuals to air views with which we may disagree.

“We hope that this apology draws a line under this episode and allows The Stand to get back to doing what it does best.”

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