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Stewart Hosie to step down as SNP Deputy Leader as he wants to focus on his 'family and his health'

SNP Deputy Leader Stewart Hosie Credit: PA

An MP at the centre of love triangle allegations has announced he will not seek re-election as deputy leader of the Scottish National Party.

SNP Deputy Leader Stewart Hosie said he wanted to "apologise for any hurt and upset" he has caused and will step back from the role to concentrate on his constituency, responsibilities at Westminster and his health.

The 53-year-old's announcement follows claims he had an affair with Westminster journalist Serena Cowdy, who was previously said to have been involved with Angus MacNeil, who represents Na h-Eileanan an Iar in Parliament.

The MP will not seek re-election at the party's annual conference later in the year.

Stewart Hosie's resignation letter to Nicola Sturgeon:

I am writing to you firstly to apologise for any hurt and upset I have caused to friends, family and colleagues. That was never my intention.

I am also writing to tell you of my intention not to seek re-election as Depute Leader of the SNP at this year's annual conference, giving ample time for the Party to choose a successor.

As you know I have been admitted to hospital on three occasions in the past few years with very high blood pressure. In that regard, the stress of the intense scrutiny of my private life has been very difficult.

I intend to concentrate on my constituents, my responsibilities at Westminster, and most importantly, my health.

It has been a pleasure to serve under your leadership and I hope to do so for many years to come.

I wish you, your Government and our Party every success.

– Stewart Hosie

Ms Sturgeon paid tribute to Mr Hosie’s work as Depute Leader and in particular to his work on the 2015 and 2016 election manifestos.

Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray MP said: "Stewart Hosie has made the right decision to resign, but this incident exposes something more significant about the SNP at Westminster.

"Instead of attacking each other, SNP MPs should be focused on delivering for their constituents.

"Last year the SNP told us their MPs would be stronger for Scotland, but just twelve months on many have been a source of real embarrassment. "This incident hasn't just seen them let down their party, but they are letting down the people of Scotland who have voted for them and expect much better behaviour."