10 July 2023

Seventh SNP MP confirms he will not stand in next general election

10 July 2023

A seventh SNP MP has confirmed he will not contest his seat at the next general election.

Falkirk MP John McNally has ruled himself out for re-election after eight years at Westminster.

The 72-year-old was first elected in the 2015 general election after securing a significant 19,701 vote majority.

But the barber by trade has now followed a string of high-profile SNP colleagues by confirming he will not contest his Westminster seat when an election is held next year.

The politician revealed to the Falkirk Herald that the decision had been taken to allow him to spend more time with his family.

He told the newspaper: “Travelling from the constituency to London every week takes its toll and not just on the politician but also their families. Even when you return on a Friday there are lots of meetings with people in the constituency and it is difficult to unwind.

“My wife Sandra has retired now and it’s right that I spend more time with her.”

And, in a statement on Twitter, the MP said the decision had come after “some soul searching”.

His decision not to seek re-election follows the party’s Westminster deputy leader Mhairi Black, who announced last week she was stepping down due to the toxic environment.

Former Westminster SNP leader Ian Blackford and ex-party deputy leader Stewart Hosie are among the high profile names also choosing not to contest their seats.

His statement said: “For eight years I have had the honour of representing the Falkirk constituency as their MP. After some soul searching, however, I am standing down at the next general election.

Travelling from the constituency to London every week takes its toll and not just on the politician but also their families

“It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly. It has been a privilege to speak on behalf of such a vibrant community.

“The people are not just constituents to me but are friends, colleagues, neighbours and family.

“My time in politics is something I never imagined I’d experience, let alone for nearly a decade. Fifty years ago I ran a barber shop in Denny.

“I went on to work as a local councillor for the area and then MP for Falkirk.”

Mr McNally said he will “continue to do whatever I can to campaign for Scottish independence and to support the SNP.”

His colleagues Peter Grant, Angela Crawley and Douglas Chapman will also not contest their seats.

Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain said: “From public rows bubbling up within the Westminster SNP group to the ongoing investigations into their party’s finances, it is no surprise that so many MPs are choosing to call it a day.

“It seems inevitable that there will be more nationalist MPs announcing they are stepping down in the weeks ahead.

“It’s hard to see how they can claim to be representing Scottish interests when they are spending this much time at daggers drawn.”

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