Ian Blackford steps down as Scottish National Party’s Westminster leader

Blackford, who became the SNP’s Westminster leader in 2017, said in a statement: “I have today informed SNP MPs that I will not be restanding as leader of the Westminster parliamentary group at our AGM next week.

“After more than five years in the role, now is the right time for fresh leadership at Westminster as we head towards a general election and the next steps in winning Scotland’s independence.

“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.

“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.”

He pledged his “full support” to whoever his successor will be.

The SNP is the third largest party in the national parliament in Westminster, London, and the largest party in the governing coalition running the devolved Scottish parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh.

Blackford gained national prominence for his entertaining exchanges at prime minister’s questions with the prime minister of the day, which since 2017 included Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, and currently Rishi Sunak.

Source: Anadolu Agency