THE SNP has appointed a new deputy Westminster leader.

Kirsten Oswald MP will be the party's number two in the House of Commons, following the resignation last week of Kirsty Blackman.

Ms Blackman, who had been the deputy leader since 2017, stepped down from the role citing mental health difficulties due to the coronavirus lockdown as well as a desire to prioritise family and constituency duties. 

Ms Oswald, MP for East Renfrewshire was appointed today after being elected unopposed. 

She said: "I'm delighted to have been elected SNP Westminster Deputy Leader at this critical time, and I look forward to working in this new role with our strong team of SNP MPs.

"As we continue to tackle coronavirus, SNP MPs will press the UK government to deliver the financial powers and support that people, public services and businesses in Scotland need to manage this unprecedented emergency and secure a strong recovery.

"This crisis has exposed the deep inequality caused by decades of Westminster cuts. There can be no return to business as normal. As Scotland seeks to build a fairer society and escape the growing threat of a Tory Brexit, the case for independence has never been stronger."

Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster leader, added: "I congratulate Kirsten on her election. She brings a wealth of talent and experience to the role, and I look forward to working together to continue providing a strong voice for Scotland at Westminster.

"This is an important time as we deal with the covid-19 crisis and look to build a fairer Scotland. With the threat of a Tory Brexit growing, and crucial decisions over the economic emergency, Kirsten will play a key role as we hold the Tory government to account."