It comes after Stephen Flynn, the Aberdeen South MP and energy spokesperson, told SNP officials he intended to challenge the long-standing leader of the Westminster group at the annual internal elections. However, Mr Flynn later denied he wished to stand, stating on Twitter that he had “no intention of standing”.
Speaking at a virtual Work Foundation event hours after the Scottish Government was defeated at the Supreme Court, Mr Blackford said he was looking forward to standing again.
In a clear swipe at his internal critics, the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said he planned on being the last Westminster leader of the SNP before Scottish independence.
Asked by The Scotsman whether he believed he retained the confidence of the majority of SNP MPs, Mr Blackford said: “In terms of my own position, I’ve been privileged to have been an MP since 2015 and been the leader of the SNP since 2017.
"I have to put myself up for re-election every year, that’s part of our standing orders, and I look forward to doing that again. I look forward to being the MP which leads the SNP group out of Westminster for the last time.”
Following Mr Flynn’s reverse ferret, Mr Blackford’s loyalists claimed to The Times the 34-year-old MP had “badly judged the level of support” within the party. One supporter of Mr Flynn said “he bottled it”.
The SNP Westminster leader has been facing criticism around his handling of internal party discipline and matters, particularly around the suspension of Patrick Grady over sexual harassment allegations.
Earlier in the year, Mr Blackford faced reports in the Politico website he was set to stand down as leader, rumours he denied.
Mr Blackford initially won the leadership in 2017, beating high-profile Edinburgh South West MP Joanna Cherry, and MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Drew Hendry, to the position.
An investment banker before entering politics, Mr Blackford was the party’s treasurer before being suspended by the party following a fall-out with the then-leader, Alex Salmond.