MPs choose new leader
Blackford to lead SNP at Westminster
Ian Blackford, the Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP, has been elected leader of the SNP’s 35-strong bloc of MPs at Westminster.
He will be supported by Kirsty Blackman as his deputy.
“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,” he said.
“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 MPs will work hard to ensure Scotland has a seat at the Brexit negotiating table, and to protect our vital membership of the Single Market and customs union.
“We will work to bring an end to austerity and to support progressive policies in Scotland, and across the UK, at every turn.
“SNP MPs will work harder than ever to stand up for all people and parts of Scotland, and make our country the best it can be.”
SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon 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.
“The Tories must now listen to voters, reach out to all parties and devolved governments, and set a new course – ending austerity and building a cross-party, all-government approach to Brexit that will protect the interests of all four UK nations.”