Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP is new SNP leader at Westminster

Ian Blackford first won the Ross, Skye and Lochaber seat in 2015

Ian Blackford, the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, was today elected as the Scottish National Party’s Westminster leader.

Mr Blackford won the contest against Drew Hendry – the former Highland Council leader who last week retained his seat in Inverness, Badenoch and Strathspey – and Edinburgh MP Joanna Cherry.

Kirsty Blackman has been elected as the SNP’s new deputy group leader.

The post of Westminster group leader became vacant after Angus Robertson lost his seat in Moray to the Conservatives.

The SNP had 35 MPs elected last week – 21 fewer than in 2015 – but Mr Blackford suggested the party’s influence could be stronger in a hung parliament.

He said: “SNP MPs will work hard to ensure Scotland has a seat at the Brexit negotiating table, and to protect our vital membership of the single market and customs union.

“We will work to bring an end to austerity and to support progressive policies in Scotland, and across the UK, at every turn.

“SNP MPs will work harder than ever to stand up for all people and parts of Scotland, and make our country the best it can be.”