IAN Blackford has revealed the high point of his time as an MP after announcing he would step down at the next General Election.

The former SNP leader in Westminster has served as the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber since 2015 and that he looked forward to a role away from frontline politics.

In an interview with Sky News, Blackford was asked how he would remember his time as an MP, noting that it has been “quite a journey”.

He explained his commute meant leaving home at 10.30am and not arriving to London till 7.30pm.

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“I knew what I was signing up for, so I’ve no regrets about that”, he said.

What were the high points?

Blackford explained that helping families facing deportation in his constituency was one of the high points of his career as it allowed him to “make a difference”.

He said: “I had two families in the constituency that faced deportation. We managed to stop that and you’ll remember the success we had at getting the orphans from Ukraine into Scotland.

“So these are probably high points, it’s where you can make a difference for people. These are the things that count.”

Asked about a low point, Blackford said: “Funnily enough when I talk about one of these immigration cases, a family that were living in Scotland that we thought were going to face deportation quite early on and I think it’s difficult not to get involved in that, not to get engaged in that.

“There are other cases, a lovely woman in the constituency that we managed to help get a transfer down to hospital in London for a lung transplant and gave her some additional years.

“I think when you look at these things. These are the points you remember when you’ve used your office to help people and make a difference for them.”

What next for the SNP?

Burley put it to Blackford that he was “leaving the door open” for Labour to take his next seat.

At the 2019 General Election, Blackford defeated Labour candidate Craig Harrow by 19,263 votes to 9820.

“I trust that the voters in my constituency will come back and support whoever is the SNP candidate in the next election”, he said.

Blackford added: “We’ve got a job to do to show that we can be trusted. The election is going to be about change.

“It’s about making sure we’ve got a response to the cost of living crisis. I know that the SNP under Humza Yousaf will be ready for that challenge.”

Asked about a potential by-election in Margaret Ferrier’s constituency, Blackford said the SNP would be “ready for the fight”.

He continued: “I’m glad that we seem to be facing a by-election, that’s right that that is the case.

“I’m sorry that Margaret has got herself in the position that she is in but we need to move on.

“She should have gone as an MP some time before now but let’s focus on getting that by-election and electing an MP that can represent her constituents.”