Stewart Hosie, the deputy leader of the Scottish National Party's Westminster contingent of MPs, is to step down from the role later this year, blaming "intense scrutiny" of his private life. He has been the subject of several allegations in newspapers, concerning a reported affair with a political journalist.

Writing to the SNP's leader Nicola Sturgeon, the MP for Dundee East confirmed that he will not seek re-election at the party's national conference, and apologised for "any hurt and upset I have caused to friends, family and colleagues". He continued: "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," he wrote. "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."

Pete Wishart, the SNP's shadow leader in the Commons, said: "Really sad, but totally understand why Stewart Hosie would want to stand down as deputy leader. He's been a fantastic dDeputy in the party."

Hosie, who has been deputy leader of the SNP since 2014, is also the party's economics spokesperson in Westminster. He split with his wife, with whom he has a daughter, earlier this month.