Former SNP Westminster chief had ‘utmost respect’ for Lib Dem Charles Kennedy

The SNP’s former Westminster chief has mentioned he had “utmost respect” for Charles Kennedy, the ex-Liberal Democrat chief who died from a haemorrhage linked to alcoholism.

Ian Blackford, who just lately introduced he would step down as an MP on the subsequent election, was responding to questions at a reside discuss present on the Edinburgh Fringe pageant when co-host Iain Dale spoke of what number of Scottish Lib Dem voters “blame” Mr Blackford for Mr Kennedy’s tough remaining months earlier than his dying.

Mr Dale mentioned many Lib Dems alleged Mr Blackford “conducted a pretty scandalous campaign against [Mr Kennedy]” when he unseated him within the Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency within the 2015 basic election.

Mr Dale mentioned: “Now, we’ve talked about this in the past, but if I don’t bring this up, I know what will happen.

“Just take us through your point of view. What happened in that campaign?”

There was no animosity between myself and Charles in any respect

Ian Blackford MP

Mr Blackford mentioned he didn’t know Mr Kennedy notably properly outdoors politics however cited his respect for the Lib Dem chief who had helped him a number of occasions in his profession.

He spoke of the 1999 election, when he had a very tough night time, and said “Charles was a sense of immense support to me at that time and encouragement”.

He mentioned somebody just lately confirmed him footage of them partaking in dialog.

He mentioned: “And you can see the discussion that was taking place, a very warm discussion that was taking place between myself and Charles.

“There was no animosity between myself and Charles whatsoever.”

He added: “I sit in Parliament with colleagues that are Liberal Democrat MPs.

“Actually, you had Vince Cable. Vince and I got on extremely well, particularly over Brexit – we worked very well together.”

Mr Dale then requested if there was something in regards to the marketing campaign he regrets.

Mr Blackford replied: “One of the things I did, very early on in that campaign, was I highlighted Charles’ voting record. I highlighted Charles’ voting record over a 15-year period.”

Speaking to co-host and former Labour politician Jacqui Smith, he continued: “And look, it wasn’t the best, but Jackie, you and I know that these are legitimate things to do in an election campaign – you compare and contrast the work rate, if you like, of your opponent, and I didn’t know the kind of challenges that Charles was facing, and what he went through in his personal life is something that of course everyone has the deepest sympathy for.

“But what I did, and again, it’s there, I went back and looked over the course of the last 15 years. He wasn’t really participating in Parliament perhaps the way that most people would have wanted.”

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