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by Kirsteen Paterson
05 December 2022
Alison Thewliss names Stuart McDonald as deputy in SNP leadership challenge

Stuart McDonald MP

Alison Thewliss names Stuart McDonald as deputy in SNP leadership challenge

SNP Westminster group leadership contender Alison Thewliss has nominated her party's home affairs spokesperson to be deputy.

McDonald, who represents Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirktintilloch East, said he is "very humbled" by the nomination from Thewliss, who is in the running to replace departing leader Ian Blackford.

She is one of two declared candidates for the role, with Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn also seeking the Westminster leadership role.

The matter will go to the vote tomorrow, when SNP MPs hold their annual general meeting.

Blackford's departure follows weeks of speculation that Flynn would challenge for the group's top job. He will remain as constituency MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber and has denied being forced out by colleagues, telling the BBC's Sunday Show that "I think now is the right time to allow other people to come forward".

His deputy, East Renfrewshire's Kirsten Oswald, has confirmed that she will also step down, saying that it "seems sensible" that "a new leader and a new deputy pick up the baton".

Flynn has said that he would be a "strong voice" for Scotland at Westminster, and has asked colleagues to "put their faith" in him.

Meanwhile, Thewliss has said that she has "the experience and the attitude" to lead the group and "build on Ian Blackford's achievements".

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