Who is SNP MP Ian Blackford?


SNP MP Ian Blackford was been thrown out of the Commons for second time on January 31 after the Speaker found he’d broke a golden rule.

But who is the Commons rule-breaker? Here’s what we know about him.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture date: Wednesday January 26, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story Politics PMQs. Photo ...
SNP MP Ian Blackford was thrown out of the Commons for a second time on January 31

Who is Ian Blackford?

The 60-year-old former investment banker has been the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber since May 2015.

He is also the leader of the SNP in the Commons and was the party’s treasurer from 1999 to 2000.

Blackford was educated at the Royal High School in Edinburgh before joining NatWest Securities as an analyst.

The company was bought by BT Alex Brown and Blackford was made managing director.

When that company was in turn merged with Deutsche Bank in 1999 he ran the bank’s equity division in Scotland and the Netherlands.

In 2005 he joined the Dutch baking company CSM as an investor relations manger and was appointed non-executive chairman of the telecommunications firm Commsworld in 2006.

He initially stood as an SNP candidate in Ayr in the 1997 general election but failed to get elected.

A similar fate awaited him when he stood in the Paisley 1997 by-election.

He then stood for election in the constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber in the 2015 general election, managing to defeat the former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy by 5,124 votes.

Why was Ian Blackford kicked out of the House of Commons?

On January 31,  Ian Blackford refused to withdraw remarks that Boris Johnson had previously “lied and misled” the Commons with regard to his previous denials about the Covid rule-breaking parties.

Accusing another member of lying breaks a Commons golden rule.

He also said that Johnson had “dishonoured” the post of the prime minister, backing up comments from former PM, Theresa May.

Theresa May said: “Either my right honourable friend had not read the rules or didn’t understand what they meant and others around him, or they didn’t think the rules applied to Number 10. Which was it?”

To which the PM replied: “No, Mr Speaker, that is not what the Gray report says, I suggest that she waits to see the conclusion of the inquiry.”

Following Mrs May, Mr Blackford said: “Her behaviour in office, like many that went before her, was about dignity, about the importance of the office of Prime Minister, of respect, of truthfulness.

“He misled he house – he must now resign,” he said referencing the Partygate issues.

After Speaker Lindsay Hoyle told Mr Blackford to clarify and say the PM “inadvertently” misled, Mr Blackford said: “I am standing up for my constituents that know that this Prime Minister has lied and misled the House.”

As shouting erupted in the Commons, the Speaker said: “Under the power given to me by standing order number 43 I order the honourable member to withdraw immediately from the House.”

Has Ian Blackford been kicked out of the House of Commons before?

On June 13 2021, Blackford was booted out of the Commons by the former Speaker John Bercow, which triggered a walkout by his fellow SNP MPs.

Blackford mounted the protest over a lack of time to debate Scottish devolution the day before and called for the House to sit in private.

A slanging match then took place on the floor of the House as Bercow repeatedly told him to sit down and stop causing a scene.

But Blackford refused and tried to force a vote, insisting that “Scotland will not be disrespected by this Parliament”.

He insisted powers given to Scotland were being “grabbed back” and the MPs were not being allowed time to discuss it.

However, as the Prime Minister stood up to resume questions Mr Blackford continued his bizarre antics.


“Resume your seat!” Mr Bercow shouted. “Resume your seat, young man!”

As the stunt continued, the former Speaker then was forced to chuck him out of the chamber for the rest of the day.

The rest of the SNP’s MPs then followed him out angrily, waving and gesticulating.

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP boss, tweeted directly afterwards: “Right behind Ian Blackford and the SNP MPs. Scotland and Scottish Parliament are being treated with contempt by Westminster and it needs to be highlighted.”