SNP’s Ian Blackford QUITS as leader of Westminster MPs after months of internal wrangling
- Ian Blackford says he is standing down as leader of the SNP’s Westminster group
- Comes after intense speculation he would face a challenge at AGM next week
- Mr Blackford will stay on as an MP but could be a blow to Nicola Sturgeon
Ian Blackford has quit as the leader of the SNP’s Westminster group after months of rumours and internal wrangling.
The MP said in a statement that he will not stand for the position again, after holding it for five years.
The announcement comes ahead of the SNP group’s AGM next week, when there had been speculation he would face a challenge.
The departure could be a blow to Nicola Sturgeon’s authority – although it is not yet clear who will take over.
Mr Blackford, who will stay on as an MP, said ‘right now is the time for fresh leadership’.
‘During my time as leader, the SNP won a landslide victory in the 2019 general election, with an increased share of the vote and MPs, and support for independence has continued to grow with polling this week showing a majority in favour,’ he said.
Ian Blackford has quit as the leader of the SNP ‘s Westminster group after months of rumours and internal wrangling
‘While I am stepping down as Westminster leader, I will continue in my role as the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, and I have also accepted a new role at the centre of the SNP’s independence campaign, leading on business engagement.
‘I would like to thank our MPs and staff for all their support over the past five years.
‘Whoever replaces me as Westminster leader will have my full support as, together, we stand up for Scotland’s interests and democratic right to choose our future in an independence referendum.’
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