POLITICS

SNP Elects New Westminster Leader To Replace Angus Robertson

Ian Blackford will now take on Theresa May at PMQs.

14/06/2017 16:16 BST
PA Archive/PA Images
Ian Blackford is the SNP's new Westminster leader 

The SNP has elected a new Westminster group after Angus Robertson lost his seat at the general election. 

Ian Blackford has been chosen for the high-profile job, which sees him take on Theresa May each week at Prime Minister’s Questions. 


Blackford, a former investment banker who represents the Highlands seat of Ross, Skye and Lochaber, will have Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman as his deputy.

Robertson, along with SNP talisman Alex Salmond, lost his seat to a Conservative as Ruth Davidson’s revived Scottish Tories clocked up 12 gains from Nicola Sturgeon’s party north of the border. 

 

Blackford 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.”

PA Archive/PA Images
Angus Robertson and Alex Salmond both lost their Scottish seat to a Tory 

 The SNP are the third party in the House of Commons representing 35 of the 59 Scottish seats. 

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.

 

PA Wire/PA Images
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon welcomes her new MPs to Westminster 

 ”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.”