Angus Robertson: SNP Westminster leader loses Moray seat to Conservatives

Robertson became one of the SNP's most high-profile figures after the 2015 election, thanks to a weekly platform at Prime Minister's Questions

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Indy Politics

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, has said she is “disappointed” following a dismal set of results in the general election, including the loss of the SNP’s leader in Westminster, Angus Robertson.

Ms Sturgeon, who is also the SNP leader, added she would “reflect” on the party’s loses and her demand for a second independence referendum but claimed the result was the second best ever for the party that has pinned its hopes on a second independence referendum.

The party are projected to win 32 seats, down from the 56 they achieved in 2015.

She continued: "This has been a disaster for Theresa May. She called an election clearly very arrogantly thinking she was going to crush the opposition, sweep everybody aside and cruise to a landslide majority.

"Her position I think is very, very difficult. We have to wait and see how things shake out. I've always said the SNP would want to be part of a progressive alternative to a Tory government.

"I'm disappointed at the SNP losses but I'm pleased that we've won the election."

Mr Robertson, who was the party's leader at Westminster and also its deputy leader, was beaten in Moray by former MSP Douglas Ross by 18,478 votes to 22,637.

The nationalist had held the seat since 2001 and was defending a majority of 9,065.

Mr Robertson became one of the SNP's most high-profile figures after the 2015 election, thanks to a weekly platform at Prime Minister's Questions.

As group leader at Westminster, and as a result of the SNP's newly-acquired third-party status, he was handed the task of challenging the UK Government on everything from welfare reforms to Brexit and foreign affairs.

Mr Robertson - who also took over as SNP depute leader in 2016 - has often been lauded for his PMQs performances, earning a reputation as a formidable opponent and potential future leadership contender.

Born in London to Scottish and German parents, he grew up in Edinburgh before attending university in Aberdeen.

He worked as a journalist and then as a European and international affairs adviser to SNP MSPs at Holyrood before he was elected to Westminster in 2001 to represent Moray.

He served as the party's defence spokesman and, in 2015, was appointed as a member of the Privy Council and the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.

He was the party's campaigns director for the 2007 and 2011 Scottish elections and previously served as business convener, chairing the SNP's National Executive Committee, the annual national conference and the policy-making forum National Council.

Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said no one had expected a repeat of the SNP's 56-seat win in 2015 but the result would still be a victory for the party. He added: "Theresa May would love to be in a position just now that she could say she's going to win a majority of seats across the UK.

"So given that the SNP looks like we might well have done it again in Scotland, I think you have to afford the SNP some credit, despite losing many fine parliamentary colleagues."

A second independence referendum is still on the table, which would be helped by a smaller Tory majority, allowing the SNP to wield greater influence, Mr Salmond said.

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