SNP's Ian Blackford tells Iain Dale there was a 'coup' behind his Westminster exit

15 August 2023, 22:09 | Updated: 15 August 2023, 22:27

SNP MP Ian Blackford speaks to Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith at Edinburgh Fringe
SNP MP Ian Blackford speaks to Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith at Edinburgh Fringe (2023). Picture: Rich Dyson Photography

By Abbie Reynolds

Ian Blackford has now conceded that an impending 'coup' planned by colleagues led to his Westminster resignation.

When question by Iain Dale's podcast co-host Jacqui Smith on whether he would liked to have stayed as the Leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons, Ian Blackford said: "Look not everyone is going to support you at all time, we all know that from politics.

"And I think it's fair to say, how can I put it? That perhaps there were people who wanted my bum off the front bench."

"I knew there was going to be a challenge coming my way, I knew there was a small group of people that for whatever reason wanted to see a change. I discussed it with Nicola," he explained.

The former Scottish First Minister then appointed the MP as her Business Ambassador and he said he decided it was time to "move on" and step down from his role in the House of Commons.

Iain Dale pressed: "Talking to various SNP people up here...they described it as a coup."

To which Mr Blackford confirmed: "Yes."

"For whatever reason there were a number of people that would rather of seen me off that front bench," he told Iain.

When asked to expand on why this 'coup' was orchestrated he said: "I think people have their own reasons and their own ambitions and I think it is best to probably leave it at that."

READ MORE: Stephen Flynn elected as new SNP leader in Westminster after Ian Blackford resignation

Mr Blackford expressed his support for his party and said he will never be a "back seat driver".