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Daily Record
Daily Record
Jon Brady

SNP Westminster revolt continues as Chris Law quits frontbench post

The revolt against new Westminster SNP leader Stephen Flynn is continuing after MP Chris Law became the third frontbencher to stand down in the wake of his election.

Law, the MP for Dundee West, announced that he was quitting as the SNP's spokesperson for international development on Thursday night, two days after Flynn was elected Westminster leader, replacing Ian Blackford. He stressed that Flynn had his "full support" in his letter to the new group leader, published on Twitter shortly before 10pm.

He wrote: "Serving in this role has truly been an honour and it is a role that I have thoroughly relished working in. Polling released this week has been truly heartening and I truly believe that we have never been closer to independence.

"You have my full support and I look forward to working with you and others in our party to develop our strategy as we continue building a winning campaign."

Law's resignation came after two other SNP frontbenchers, Pete Wishart and Stewart McDonald, gave up their spokesperson roles following Flynn's victory over Alison Thewliss in the Westminster leadership battle by 26 votes to 17. The row has exposed rifts in the SNP's parliamentary group in London, which under Blackford retained close ties with the Scottish parliamentary party.

That is not expected to continue under Flynn, whose supporters say the SNP's unit down south should be more assertive and self-managed. Upon being elected as leader he promptly sacked chief whip Owen Thompson, a loyal Blackford ally.

In his own resignation letter, Wishart said he was "bemused" as to why new leadership was needed at a time when polling suggests rising for independence. Glasgow South MP McDonald described outgoing leader Ian Blackford as a "friend" in his statement, and said of Flynn and new deputy Mhairi Black: "Both have my full and unequivocal support."

Prior to his election on Tuesday, Flynn had insisted that reports of his vying for the SNP's Westminster top spot were false. He had said of the claims, first reported in The Times last month: "As much as I love seeing photos from the days when I was still clinging on to some hair, I can confirm I’ve no intention of standing."

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