Stephen Flynn formally announces bid to be SNP Westminster leader

Flynn has joined Alison Thewliss in aiming to succeed Ian Blackford.

Stephen Flynn formally announces bid to be SNP Westminster leader STV News

Stephen Flynn has announced he is standing to become the SNP’s Westminster leader.

The Aberdeen South MP declared his intention to succeed Ian Blackford in a statement on Sunday.

Alison Thewliss, the Glasgow Central MP, was first to formally declare her candidacy for the role.

Speaking to STV News, Thewliss said she hopes to bring a “different perspective” to the job.

It was announced last week that Blackford would be stepping down from the job, having held the post since 2017.

Flynn had been widely tipped to take up the role, but Thewliss stated her intention to stand and ensure there is a contest.

In his statement posted on social media, Flynn set out his reasons for seeking the position.

He also touched on his battle with avascular necrosis – which left him unable to walk without sticks or crutches for 17 years.

Flynn underwent a hip replacement operation in 2020, which he described as being “life-changing”.

“Few working class folk ever make it to Parliament, fewer still run to be political leaders,” he wrote.

“Even fewer do so having spent almost the entirety of their teenage and adult years battling a physical disability. Your experiences shape you and I’m no different.

“I want to see a Scotland where opportunity exists for all, where we have the powers to combat poverty and create a green every revolution.

“I want to see us sat at the top tables in Europe and the UN. I want to see us make our case with positivity, energy and determination.

“We have the people, the skills and the know-how – we just need the power. Because the answers to the problems we face don’t lie in Westminster.”

Flynn insisted that “strong voices” are needed at Westminster in standing up for Scotland.

He continued: “The Tories will keep shredding our relationship with Europe and the Labour Party will cheer them on.

“Our economy has been set alight and despite our huge energy resources, our people are in financial peril.

“Strong voices are needed and I’m ready to stand up for Scotland. I’ll be asking my colleagues to put their faith in me to deliver for them and for our nation.”

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