New SNP Leader at Westminster Ian Blackford MP

15 Jun 2017

 

SNP MPs have selected Ian Blackford as their new leader in the House of Commons.

 

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP has taken over from Angus Robertson, who lost his Moray seat in the general election.

 

Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman will act as his depute.

 

Blackford will now represent the third largest party in the Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions.

 

He said it was an “honour and privilege” to accept the role, after the group of MPs favoured him over rivals Edinburgh South West MP Joanna Cherry and Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey MP Drew Hendry.

 

"The hung parliament means that SNP MPs will have more influence than ever before, and with crucial Brexit negotiations on the horizon it has never been more important to make Scotland's voice heard” said Blackford.

 

Added Kenneth Gibson:

 

I have known, liked and respected Ian for more than 20 years. Indeed we both served together as senior office-bearers of the party even before the Scottish Parliament was re-convened. I have no doubt Ian will be a formidable SNP Westminster Group Leader in holding the Tories to account.” 

 

On his election to his new role SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon MSP said: 

 

Ian has formidable professional and political experience and has played a key role in the last two years as part of the effective opposition to the Tory government.

 

"Ian has led our work opposing Tory benefit cuts, and supporting the WASPI women - supporting vulnerable people across the country in the face of callous Tory policies.

 

"Our immediate priority is to work with others in the House of Commons to put a halt to Theresa May’s Hard Brexit and her austerity programme, both of which have been rejected by the electorate.  There can be no ‘business-as-usual’ approach.

 

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