SNP MP John McNally has announced he will stand down at the next General Election.

McNally has served as the MP for Falkirk since 2015 having first become an elected councillor in 2005 for the party.

The MP told The National that his reasons for stepping down were “straightforward”.

READ MORE: General Election result can be used to negotiate independence, PM told

He explained: “I’m very grateful to my local constituency association and SNP members for helping me win three General Elections as well as being a local Falkirk councillor for 10 years.

“At present I am 72 years old and want to spend time with my wife Sandra, my own family, while still fit enough to do so.”

In a separate statement posted on Twitter, McNally said he had taken the decision after “some soul searching”.

It comes after other high-profile figures within the SNP, including Ian Blackford and Mhairi Black, also announced they would be stepping down at the next General Election.

McNally said: “It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly. It has been a privilege to speak on behalf of such a vibrant community. The people are not just constituents to me but are friends, colleagues, neighbours and family.

“My time in politics is something I’d never imagined I’d experience, let alone for nearly a decade. Fifty years ago I ran a barber shop in Denny.

“I went on to work as a local councillor for the area and then MP for Falkirk. The people I’ve met across this time come from every walk of life, and I’ve ensured I communicated their needs and wishes to those in power.

READ MORE: Wife of Scottish Tory MP who slammed windfall tax has BP shares

"It’s a journey I’m grateful for.”

McNally becomes the seventh SNP MP to announce their intention to stand down at the next election.

Previously, former SNP Westminster group leader Ian Blackford announced he would be standing down from his Ross, Skye and Lochaber seat. 

This was followed by long-standing Peter Grant, 62, the MP for Glenrothes and Westminster group's Treasurer, who said he was unsure whether he would be able to cope with the "physical and mental demands of the job" due to his age. 

The National: Douglas Chapman resigned as SNP treasurer over the weekend

Elsewhere, Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman (pictured above) also said he would not be standing again but insisted it was "far from" his retirement.

Angela Crawley, MP for Lanark and Hamilton East since 2015 when the party gained the seat from Labour, said it had been a "privilege" to represent her constituents as she announced she would be standing down.

Senior MP and treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie announced he would not be seeking reelection at the end of June. Hosie has served almost 20 years in Westminster and has been a member of the SNP for four decades. 

Last week, SNP Deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black blasted the "toxic, sexist and outdated" culture in the House of Commons as she announced her intention to stand down on a podcast.