Ousted SNP MP: 'No apology needed from Nicola Sturgeon and party mudslinging is unhelpful'

8 July 2024, 12:56

Hannah Bardell lost her Livingston seat to Labour's Gregor Poynton
Hannah Bardell lost her Livingston seat to Labour's Gregor Poynton. Picture: Alamy

By Alan Zycinski

Nicola Sturgeon doesn't need to apologise for the SNP's General Election results and mudslinging from within the party is unhelpful, an ousted MP has told LBC.

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Hannah Bardell lost her Livingston seat to Labour's Gregor Poynton having represented constituents there since 2015.

She was one of dozens who were defeated as the party's numbers at Westminster plunged from 48 to just 9.

Joanna Cherry was another - and claimed former leader Sturgeon owed the party an apology for her role in the defeat.

But Hannah Bardell told LBC she doesn't agree with that: "No I don't actually (agree with that). I have no doubt there'll be lots of reflections on what's happened and how challenging that's been.

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"And I think that some of the media have been vitriolic about and against Nicola and I'm not saying that there have not been mistakes made, stuff that she's said herself.

"But I don't think you can put it all at any one person's door and I also don't think that's very helpful

"I genuinely think there's an opportunity for us to come together as a party as John Swinney has tried to do. We recognise there are issues, and differences of opinion and different views, and that will and has always been the case and it is the case in every political party.

"I just don't think that kind of stuff is particularly helpful and I think what our members want to see is us pulling together and looking at the areas of agreement which is most definitely on independence and how we forge forward with that.

"We've had a tough time as a party and I don't think that, sort of the, bloodletting and the mudslinging that it is happening - and it'll be happening in all different quarters - is necessarily the most helpful thing. We have to listen to the electorate, but we also have to communicate with them."

The outgoing Livingston MP also told us it was a "massive blow" to lose her seat and "devastating" to longer be serving her constituents in the same way.

But said she has a slight sense of relief to be further out of UK politics for now which she described as "pretty toxic".

She said: "Of course there is (some relief), without question. I mean when Sir David Amess was murdered, my brother came to me and he said, look, I think you might need to think about another job, another career. We're so worried about you. We're so worried about the atmosphere.

"You know, I've got panic buttons in my house like every MP has and I've got - compared to probably some very high profile ones - minimal security.

"The way that we have to live our life now as MPs is not, I think, what we would like it to be and I think we all have to think about that.

"And yes on a personal level there is a little bit of relief that I will be hopefully safer and not be facing some of those threats that I have in the past because it has absolutely taken a toll.

"I don't know what's next, but one thing I'm very clear about is I want to keep talking about the atmosphere in politics."

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