Kirsten Oswald to step down as SNP deputy leader at Westminster

KIRSTEN Oswald has announced she will step down as the SNP‘s deputy Westminster leader.

The East Renfrewshire MP said it made sense that there would be a new depute following Ian Blackford‘s decision to resign as the party’s group leader in the House of Commons.

Oswald also confirmed she won’t run to become the London group’s next leader.

READ MORE: Scotland reacts to Ian Blackford’s decision to step down as SNP Westminster leader

Responding to a Twitter user who listed Oswald among their favourite potential leadership contenders, the MP replied: “That’s very nice of you but it definitely won’t be me! I’m also not going to re-stand as deputy leader – seems sensible to me that a new leader and new deputy pick up the baton – and they’ll have my support to do that.”

Oswald became deputy leader in 2020, taking over from Kirsty Blackman. She is also the SNP’s spokesperson on women and equalities.

Tweeting about Oswald’s decision to stand down, her colleague John Nicolson MP said: “Kirsten is the best of colleagues. Kind, thoughtful, measured and discreet. She will continue to be a powerful advocate for her constituents and causes she holds dear.”

Pete Wishart added: “Kirsten reinvented and developed the role of Deputy Leader of the Westminster group and made it central to all of the activities of the SNP at Westminster. Incredible shift Kirsten.”

And Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald said: “Being Deputy Leader of the Westminster group is a tough and often thankless task, but Kirsten has done it with good grace, discretion and a tonne of hard work. Thank you for all you’ve done for the team, Kirsten.”

Blackford announced on Thursday he would not seek re-election to the post at the SNP’s AGM next week, just weeks after reports Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn was manoeuvring to take over. Flynn denied these rumours.

However, the politician remains the favourite to take over from Blackford.

NEXT READ: Who is Stephen Flynn? The favourite to take over as SNP leader at Westminster


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