SNP’s Ian Blackford to stand down at next election

Ian Blackford, the former leader of the SNP in Westminster, has announced that he will not be standing in the next election. Blackford, who was replaced as leader of the independence-supporting party’s Commons delegation by Stephen Flynn last year, has been contemplating his decision for some time. He remains committed to the cause of Scottish independence and will continue to support the SNP and its first minister.

During his five and a half years as leader of the SNP in London, Blackford was a staunch ally of Nicola Sturgeon. After losing his leadership position, he was offered the role of business ambassador for the party, which he confirmed will still go ahead despite the upheaval within the SNP. He is also working on a report outlining Scotland’s industrial future, set to be released in the coming weeks.

Blackford, 62 years old, has been a prominent figure in the SNP, having joined the party nearly 50 years ago. He briefly joined Scottish Labour before returning to the SNP and has had a tumultuous relationship with the party’s former leader Alex Salmond. However, he has been close to Nicola Sturgeon in recent years. With Sturgeon stepping down, a generational shift is taking place within the party.

Blackford’s Ross, Skye, and Lochaber constituency is being divided due to boundary changes before the next election. SNP sources have indicated that there is little chance of the Lib Dems winning in the area. Blackford was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015, taking over the Ross, Skye, and Lochaber seat from the late Charles Kennedy.

Before entering politics, Blackford worked in the banking sector and currently resides on a small farm in his constituency. As Westminster leader of the SNP, he was known for his lengthy questions during Prime Minister’s Questions, which occasionally elicited jeers from fellow MPs. He has been removed from the House on multiple occasions, once for expressing frustration over Brexit voting procedures and another time for accusing Boris Johnson of misleading the Commons regarding partygate.

Blackford faced criticism for his handling of an incident in which one of his MPs was accused of sexually harassing a staff member. Leaked recordings revealed that he encouraged SNP MPs to support Patrick Grady following the allegations.

Current SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn acknowledged Blackford’s upcoming departure, stating, “I know Ian will be sorely missed by his constituents and colleagues when he stands down as an MP but I am confident that he will have a key role in continuing the campaign for Scotland to become an independent country.”

World News

Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

Related Articles