Dundee-born Stephen Flynn was crowned as the SNP’s new Westminster leader just 19 days after he denied being involved in a coup to oust Ian Blackford.
MP Mr Flynn was able to see off a surprise challenge from Glasgow MP Alison Thewliss to secure the top job.
He emerged as a heavy favourite to take on the post last Thursday when Mr Blackford announced he was quitting as House of Commons chief.
In November, Aberdeen South MP Mr Flynn claimed he had no interest in the role when reports emerged he wanted to take over from Mr Blackford.
But he announced his candidacy on Sunday night and insisted he was best-placed to lead the party’s Westminster group.
Ms Thewliss, who confirmed she would run on Saturday, was seen as the “continuity” candidate believed to be closer to Nicola Sturgeon.
It’s understood Mr Flynn got 26 votes from SNP MPs, while Ms Thewliss was backed by 17 party colleagues.
The new Westminster boss will take on the responsibility of grilling Tory leader Rishi Sunak during Prime Minister’s Questions every Wednesday.
He can also expect to play a central role in Nicola Sturgeon’s plans to fight the next UK election on the issue of independence alone.
Mr Flynn said: “It’s an honour to be elected to lead the SNP’s strong and talented team of MPs during such a crucial period for Scotland.
“Under my leadership, SNP MPs will be relentlessly focused on standing up for Scotland’s interests and our democratic right to decide our future in an independence referendum.”
Firebrand Paisley MP Mhairi Black was elected as deputy to Mr Flynn after he gave her his backing.
She said: “I’m delighted to have been elected as SNP Westminster deputy leader and look forward to working closely with Stephen Flynn and MP’s across the parliamentary party as we stand up for Scotland and make the case for independence.”
Who is Stephen Flynn?
Mr Flynn first became Aberdeen South MP in 2019 after managing to successfully wrest the seat from the Tories.
He had previously served as a councillor in the city before entering Westminster politics.
Mr Flynn grew up in Dundee and Brechin. He is a huge Dundee United fan.
His move to Aberdeen more than a decade ago was prompted by his wife becoming a teacher in the city.
Since becoming an MP, he has been a key voice on the future of the energy industry in the north-east.
The Scottish Tories claimed Mr Flynn’s election to the role was a “personal humiliation” for the first minister since she was perceived to be more in favour of Ms Thewliss.
MSP Craig Hoy said: “Stephen Flynn’s victory over Nicola Sturgeon’s candidate is a personal humiliation for the first minister and lays bare the deep splits within the SNP.
“Mr Flynn was the MP who brought down Ian Blackford, in open defiance of the first minister.
“It’s clear that the first minister’s once-iron grip on her party is slipping.”