Kirsty Blackman has stood down as the SNP’s deputy leader in Westminster to focus on her family, mental health and constituency work.
The Aberdeen North MP has been Ian Blackford’s number two in Parliament for the past three years, over which the UK has seen two general elections.
Ms Blackman said: “I’m proud of what I’ve achieved as SNP Westminster deputy leader over the past three years.
“Together with our team of SNP MPs we have provided a strong voice for Scotland at a challenging time, won a landslide victory at the general election, and seen support for independence rise to record levels.
She added: “Like many others, I’ve struggled with the impact that lockdown has had on my mental health.
“In order to prioritise my constituency and my family, I have made the difficult personal decision to step down from my leadership role.
“I strongly believe that people must be able to talk openly about mental health issues, which affect so many of us. I look forward to continuing my work for Aberdeen North and standing up for Scotland at Westminster.”
Mr Blackford thanked the north-east MP for her work, he said: “I want to express my thanks and gratitude to Kirsty, it has been a pleasure to work together, she has been a valued colleague and friend.
“She has made an important contribution to our work standing up for Scotland at Westminster and making the case for independence.
“I respect her decision to put her constituents and family first – and know she will continue to play a key role in the SNP team as the MP for Aberdeen North.”
The SNP’s parliamentary party will hold an election in the coming weeks to replace Ms Blackman.