Mon, 28 November 2022

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SNP MP who once threatened to sue Alex Salmond is party's new Westminster leader

SNP MP who once threatened to sue Alex Salmond is party's new Westminster leader
2 min read

An SNP MP who once threatened to take legal action against Alex Salmond has been elected the party's leader at Westminster.

Former party treasurer Ian Blackford defeated Joanna Cherry and Drew Hendry following a vote by the SNP's parliamentary group.

He succeeds Angus Robertson, who lost his Moray seat at last week's general election, which also saw the SNP lose 21 MPs.

Mr Blackford, the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said: "It is an honour and a privilege to be elected to lead the SNP's strong and talented team of MPs during such a crucial period.

"As Scotland’s leading party at Westminster, and the third party across the UK, the SNP has a huge opportunity in this parliament to stand up for Scotland's interests.

"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."

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said: "I’m delighted to see Ian Blackford elected as Leader of the SNP’s Westminster Group. 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 goverment."

His election marks a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Mr Blackford, who stood down as SNP treasurer in 2000 after a vote of no confidence in him by the party's executive.

He responded by threatening to take legal action against Mr Salmond, who was then in his first stint as SNP leader.

But Mr Blackford told PoliticsHome: "The past is in the past - it's the future that concerns us. Alex and I are friends."

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