Blackford’s Spectacular By-Election Own Goal

SNP Commons leader Ian Blackford made a grandstanding show this week at PMQs, commending SNP MP and Holyrood candidate Neil Gray for “doing the right thing” and standing down as an MP and avoiding “a separate by-election that would cost the public £175,000.” He then contrasted this with the Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross who is not standing down – alleging this will somehow cost the taxpayer £175,000 in the future…

The trouble for Blackford is he got his charges completely the wrong way round. His SNP colleague Neil Gray resigned too late to not force a separate by-election, later than 6 May, costing £175,000. Meanwhile Tory Douglas Ross is not standing down meaning there will be no by election for him. A spokesman for the North Lanarkshire Returning Officer has confirmed that the by-election for Gray will take place on May 13, saying:

“The trigger for a by-election is a writ being served from the United Kingdom parliament. The writ is now anticipated to be served on April 7 and the Returning Officer is required by law to organise a by-election between 21 and 27 working days from the day after this.”

A spectacular own goal in the space of two days flat…

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