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Daily Record
Daily Record
Andrew Quinn

Second SNP MP confirms they will not stand at next general election

A second SNP MP has announced that they are standing down at the general election.

Peter Grant, who represents Glenrothes and Central Fife, said he would not seek re-election as he was unsure he would "be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job" by the end of the next term.

It comes just weeks after the SNP's former Westminster leader Ian Blackford announced that he would not be standing again.

The Record understands several other SNP MPs are also expected to soon announce they will not seek reelection.

The party is due to begin its formal selection process in the coming weeks.

Grant, who is the SNP Westminster group's treasurer, said: “After a great deal of soul searching I have decided not to seek re-election.

“Depending on the timing of the election the next Parliament is likely to run until I am 68 or possibly 69 years old. I owe it to everyone to ask myself whether I will be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job when I reach that age.

“I don’t think in all honesty I can give a firm yes to that question and that means in all conscience I can’t ask volunteers to campaign for me and ask voters to vote for me when I have doubts in my own mind about my ability to serve a further full term at the level of intensity I know will be needed."

Grant was elected in 2015, when the SNP took 56 of the 59 Scottish Westminster seats. He joined the party in 1987 and served as a councillor for 23 years before becoming an MP.

His resignation comes after a stormy year for the SNP's Westminster group.

Blackford faced calls to quit in June last year after a leaked recording showed him urging MPs to offer "full support" to colleague Patrick Grady. Grady was banned from the Commons and suspended by the SNP for sexually harassing a teenage staffer.

Blackford then stood down six months later after two challenges to his leadership. Stephen Flynn beat Nicola Sturgeon ally Alison Thewliss in the leadership contest.

It emerged in April that the group had been without auditors for more than six months and could lose out on more than £1million of public money if it failed to submit its accounts on time.

This led to a public spat between Blackford and Flynn over how the new leader had found out about the accounts.

The group found auditors and submitted its accounts by the end of May deadline.

On top of all of this, Sturgeon resigned as party leader in February. The former First Minister, her husband and former party chief executive Peter Murrell and then party treasurer Colin Beattie, were also arrested and released pending further enquiries as part of the investigation into the party's finances.

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