POLITICS: Stewart Hosie becomes latest MP to desert SNP

Veteran Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie has become the latest Scexit-supporting politician to announce they will be stepping down, following in the footsteps of Ian Blackford, Douglas Chapman, Peter Grant and Angela Crawley

Stewart Hosie appeared on BBC Scotland's The Nine on Tuesday night

SNP economy spokesperson Stewart Hosie

Veteran SNP politician Stewart Hosie has become the latest nationalist to abandon the party as he has announced his plan to step down at the next general election. He is the fifth MP to confirm they will not stand again.

The Dundee East representative has been a mainstay in the independence movement for more than four decades and has been at Westminster for almost 20 years. But he will not be standing for election when the country next heads to the ballot box.

Also not seeking re-election are Ian Blackford, Peter Grant, Douglas Chapman and Angela Crowley. Opposition parties have claimed that they were “fleeing the sinking ship.”

The Courier reported that Mr Hosie was quitting after a “great deal of thought.” He said: “It has been the greatest privilege of my life to represent the constituency I was born and grew up in.

Mr Hosie was a controversial figure in the nationalist movement after he was involved in a love triangle with fellow MP Angus MacNeil and journalist Serena Cowdy in 2016. He split with his wife Shona Robison the same year following allegations of cheating.

DUNFERMLINE, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: SNP MP and keen biker Stewart Hosie and Serena Cowdy join Scottish independence supporters make their way in a march and rally organised by the campaign group Forward as One, on September 1, 2018 in Dunfermline, Scotland. Dunfermline was the royal capital of Scotland from medieval times until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. (Photo by Ken Jack - Corbis/Getty Images)

Cllr Serena Cowdy pictured with husband Stewart Hosie.

The SNP is looking at losing more than 20 seats at the next general election, but Mr Hosie’s seat is predicted to remain yellow. An exodus of MPs started earlier this month when Mr Blackford announced he would be stepping down amid a strong challenge from the Lib Dems.

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