SNP MP Pete Wishart has announced he will not seek to stand for the position of Speaker of the House of Commons, saying he intends to continue working “flat out” for independence and devote his time to working towards the next referendum, one he says he is “certain will be won”.

The role of speaker is being vacated by John Bercow, who is standing down.

Wishart, writing in his blog on Wednesday, also hit out at “absurd assertions” from detractors who claimed his interest in standing for the post showed a “lack of commitment” on securing independence or a “desire” to stay at Westminster. He said that standing in a contest in which he knew he had no chance of winning was instead a means to promote the cause of independence.

He writes: “My bid for the speakership was done with the full understanding that it would be highly unlikely to be successful as a representative of the third party with only 35 MPs. Part of my motivation for standing was to highlight the absurdity of some of the mechanics and procedures of the House of Commons, to contrast it with what is happening in Scotland, and use it to detail why Scotland should play no further part in Westminster’s proceedings.

READ MORE: Pete Wishart's blog article in full

“A competition around the speakership would provide an excellent opportunity to promote the case for Scotland’s independence by proposing how we could do things differently in an independent Scotland.

“It would also have been an opportunity to poke a gentle stick at the whole Westminster political establishment. That opportunity will now be lost in a competition that will be exclusively contested by Unionist MPs.”

He also thanked those colleagues, from all parties, who had offered their support, as well as his constituents in Perth and North Perthshire.

He added: “I now look forward to defending my parliamentary seat in the forthcoming General Election and, as I have for the past 18 years as a parliamentarian, working flat out to secure my nation’s independence and sovereignty.”