Blackford 'delighted’ to step down from SNP leadership amid rumours of internal revolt

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Ian Blackford will step down as Westminster Leader for the SNP, having held the role since 2017. The news has followed weeks of rumours concerning an internal plot to oust the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber from his leadership position. Mr Blackford asserted he was “delighted” to have been offered an alternative role by the First Minister, which has ultimately forced him to sacrifice his Westminster responsibilities.

In an interview with Sky News, the SNP Westminster Leader said: “What is important is that the First Minister has asked me to be her Business Ambassador, taking the case to the business community.

“Using my background, having worked in the city, worked in business, I am absolutely delighted to take on that role.”

He clarified: “I can’t do that and serve as Westminster Leader as well.”

Earlier this year, Mr Blackford had denied reports that he was planning to resign from his Wesmtinster post, asserting that the story had been “made up” by people with “too much time on their hands”.

Mr Blackford continued: “It’s right that I signal to the group that I am still going to carry on serving as MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, servicing my constituents by making sure I am working with the First Minister, working with the party, to build a case.

“It’s right that the group chooses a new leadership to take it forward while I’m concentrating on the tasks that I have [in] delivering that business case for Scotland to become an independent country.”

Despite his plans to step aside, he confirmed he would remain heavily involved in the SNP push for a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Mr Blackford has outlined plans to formally step down at the groups annual general meeting next week.

Read more: Sunak humiliates SNP’s Tommy Sheppard after Indyref2 demands



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