IAN Blackford has said that work has already begun in his new role as the SNP’s independence business ambassador.

In an interview with Jeremy Kyle on TalkTV, the Skye MP said that he had already undertaken two meetings and that he had been “unleashed” in his new capacity.

Blackford announced his resignation as the SNP’s Westminster leader last week and has since been replaced by Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn.

In the course of the interview, Blackford said that politics was a “dirty business”, adding: “Some people probably wanted to see the end of my backside off the front bench.”

Blackford went on to say that he believed he would have retained his Westminster position had he contested it.

He said: “I could have seen this off.

“I believe I would have won if I put myself forward. Under our system, I have to stand for leader every year at the annual meeting – I’ve actually gone through six annual meetings and been re-elected.”

During his time as the SNP’s Westminster leader, he said that Theresa May was the most courteous of the prime ministers that he had dealt with but also doubled down on his efforts to quash rumours that he and Boris Johnson had been friends.

He described the Johnson as a “chancer and a charlatan”, adding that he had never been for a drink with him.

Blackford also offered his support to Flynn in taking up his new position, saying that would be “loyal”, stating: “I’ll support whoever takes over – Stephen has taken over. He has my best wishes, as does Mhairi Black his deputy.

“At the end of the day I’ve moved on. There’s an opportunity there and Stephen has taken that. He has all my best wishes.”