[Updated below] SNP Deputy Leader, the unexpectedly frisky Stewart Hosie – who thanks to his mistress’s public indiscretions will forever be surreally envisaged in white y-fronts – has announced that he will not seek re-election as Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party at the 2016 annual autumn conference.
In a letter to SNP Leader, Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Hosie says that he wants to step back from the role to concentrate on his constituency, his family and his health.
Ms Sturgeon paid tribute to Mr Hosie’s work as Depute Leader and in particular to his work on the 2015 and 2016 election manifestos.
The issue now is whether the demoted Lothario MP will continue to hold the same Mujahideen attraction for his erratic paramour.
In his letter to the First Minister, Mr Hosie said: ‘I am writing to you firstly to apologise for any hurt and upset I have caused to friends, family and colleagues. That was never my intention.
‘I am also writing to tell you of my intention not to seek re-election as Depute Leader of the SNP at this year’s annual conference, giving ample time for the Party to choose a successor.
‘As you know I have been admitted to hospital on three occasions in the past few years with very high blood pressure. In that regard, the stress of the intense scrutiny of my private life has been very difficult.
‘I intend to concentrate on my constituents, my responsibilities at Westminster, and most importantly, my health.
‘It has been a pleasure to serve under your leadership and I hope to do so for many years to come.
‘I wish you, your Government and our Party every success.’
Nicola Sturgeon responded by writing: ‘Thank you for your letter of earlier today advising me of your intention not to seek re-election as Depute Leader of the Party.
Your decision to make this known now will allow an election for your successor to be conducted in advance of the Autumn conference.
‘I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your service as Depute Leader since November 2014.
‘During your tenure in office, amongst your many other duties, you have authored two successful election manifestos – providing the policy platform for our victories in both the 2015 General Election and the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.
‘These are achievements you should be very proud of.
‘As you step down as Depute Leader, I know you will continue to make a valuable contribution to the Party in many ways and, in particular, through your work in your constituency and as part of the Westminster group.
‘I have enjoyed working with you as Depute Leader – and I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.’
‘I wish you well.’
As Omar Khayyam observed: ‘The moving finger writes; and having writ, moves on’.
Update: The texts of the letters between Stewart Hosie and the First Minsiter given above are those released by the SNP’s media team earlier today; and have been carried also by the BBC.
It was notable first that the batting order of Mr Hosie’s apologies to those he has ‘hurt and upset’ was ‘ to friends, family and colleagues’.
It was secondly noteworthy that later in his letter, the batting order of his focus after he has stepped down as SNP Deputy Leader did not even include his family: ‘I intend to concentrate on my constituents, my responsibilities at Westminster, and most importantly, my health.’
Some spinning has clearly been going on to recover this unintentionally honest account of Mr Hosie’s world as he sees it.
Sky News late press review has been carrying an alternative text of Mr Hosie’s letter which it has been given, which sticks to the formula of three points – and interestingly replaces his ‘responsibilities at Westminster’ with ‘my family’.