MHAIRI Black has announced she will step down as an MP at the next General Election.

The SNP’s depute leader at Westminster, Black said that she had taken the decision to quit Parliament due to the “outdated, sexist and toxic” working environment.

The MP first made public her decision, which she said was taken “some time ago”, on the News Agents podcast alongside former BBC host Emily Maitlis.

Afterwards, Black released a full statement on social media where she thanked those who have supported her since her election in 2015 and said she would continue to fight for independence “as a campaigner rather than a candidate”.

Here is Black’s resignation statement in full:

I was elected as an MP at 20 years old in 2015, with a firm commitment to fight on behalf of my constituents in a deteriorating UK. Striving to fulfil that commitment has been the honour of a lifetime. It is humbling to have been trusted by the people of Paisley and Renfrewshire South in three General Elections, and I thank them unreservedly for their continued trust.

None of this would have been possible had it not been for the support of my local SNP branches, countless activists, and the many collective years they have dedicated to campaigning for a better Scotland. From the age of 16, you have all helped shape my political abilities and instilled the confidence in me to believe in my own capabilities, and for that, I will always be grateful.

I have always maintained how outdated, sexist and toxic a place Westminster is.

I have also made clear that I have no desire to have a long career in elected politics, and as we approach the next General Election, I will have been elected for almost a decade. I have dedicated a third of my life so far to Westminster — a truly unhealthy working environment.

Watching people in my constituency being continually harmed by a UK Government they never voted for – despite my best efforts to fight against its cruel policies – is beyond demoralising. While representing this brilliant constituency is a true honour, this aspect is painful and would take its toll on anyone that cares, as it has me.

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Since 2015, the lives of my loved ones have been turned upside down and inside out. Between media attention, social media abuse, threats, constant travel, and the murders of two MPs, my loved ones have been in a constant state of anxiety for my health and safety. They have always encouraged me to follow my gut and to do what makes me happy.

It is for these reasons I decided some time ago that the 2019 election will be my last term. As my parents grow older and I embark on married life, I have reassessed my personal priorities. I sincerely hope folk will understand my wish to spend more time with my loved ones in a safer environment as I pass the baton to the next candidate.

I will of course continue to represent my constituency to the best of my abilities, and I look forward to continuing to campaign for an independent Scotland and for the SNP at the General Election, but I will do so as a campaigner rather than a candidate.