Ian Blackford standing down as SNP leader at Westminster

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Ian Blackford standing down as SNP leader at Westminster

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has announced that he is standing down from his position.

He has confirmed he will formally stand down at the party’s annual general meeting next week.

In a statement, Blackford said he would continue in his role as the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber and had also accepted a new role at the centre of the SNP’s independence campaign.

“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”.

Reports last week said Blackford, who has fought off previous challenges, had held talks with Stephen Flynn, the Aberdeen South MP and energy spokesperson after a failed bid to oust him last month.

Blackford has faced internal criticism over what some regard as closeness to the establishment, his approach to gender issues and his handling of the Patrick Grady sexual harassment scandal.

Blackford joined the SNP at the age of 16, and was formerly Treasurer of the SNP.  He was considered something of a critic of Alex Salmond at the time.

Born in 1961, Blackford was educated at the Royal High School in Edinburgh.

Prior to being elected to Parliament, Blackford worked in the city.  He led Deutsche Bank’s equity operations in both the Netherlands and Scotland.

He later set up his own investor relations company called First Seer in 2002.

 

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