National & International

Blackford steps down as SNP Westminster leader

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According to Sky News.

Ian Blackford has announced he is stepping down from his role as Westminster leader of the SNP.

“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,” he said.

The SNP is gearing up to fight the next general election which it claims is a de facto referendum following the Supreme Court’s ruling that Holyrood cannot legislate for another vote on independence without Westminster’s consent.

Mr Blackford said he would continue with his job as an MP and that he has accepted a new role at the centre of the SNP’s independence campaign, leading on business engagement.

“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 added in his resignation statement.

He thanked his staff and said whoever replaces him will have his full support “as we stand up for Scotland’s interests and democratic right to choose our future in an independence referendum”.

SNP sources have told Sky’s political correspondent Joe Pike that Mr Blackford’s move was “a long-time coming”.

Many are tipping SNP MP Stephen Flynn to be his successor.

Mr Flynn, 34, is the party’s business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) spokesperson at Westminster.

He has previously denied he was mounting a leadership challenge against Mr Blackford.



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