Scotland politics

Ian Blackford rules out running for SNP deputy leader

Ian Blackford

The SNP's Westminster leader has ruled himself out of the contest to be the party's next deputy leader.

Ian Blackford, the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said he will not be running to succeed Angus Robertson.

In a post on Twitter, he said he wanted to concentrate on his constituency and his role as Westminster leader.

So far only Glasgow MSP James Dornan has announced he will be standing for the post but it is thought a number of MPs will consider standing against him.

Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman, Edinburgh MP Tommy Sheppard, Livingston MP Hannah Bardell, and Perth MP Pete Wishart are among those who may throw their hats into the ring.

It is thought that front benchers Dr Philippa Whiteford and Joanna Cherry may also join the contest.

Angus Robertson stood down as deputy leader earlier this month, eight months after losing his Westminster seat.

Mr Blackford announced that he would not be replacing Mr Robertson in an interview with The Press and Journal.

He said it was an "absolute privilege" to be a Highland MP.

And he added: "I take quite seriously the responsibilities I've got as leader in Westminster and supporting the government in Holyrood.

"If I was depute leader as well, something would have to give. I think it is maybe simply too much to ask."

More on this story