The UK’s youngest MP, Mhairi Black, has criticised Westminster’s out-of-touch politicians and called for parliamentary modernisation; including electronic voting.
Speaking in an interview with The Times, the 20-year-old SNP politician gave her verdict on how her first months as a politician have gone and made the case for reform in Parliament.
She said of the chamber’s ban on applause: "So you’re not allowed to clap like an ordinary person, but you’re allowed to bray like a donkey? I mean, see PMQs, especially the Conservative side, they’ve got this weird noise they do. It actually sounds like a drunken mob."
The new intake of SNP MPs famously fell foul of the custom when they applauded during the Queen’s Speech debate and were reproached by Speaker John Bercow.
Ms Black also called for the House of Commons to enable politicians to vote electronically, as in the Scottish Assembly. She said: “Are we genuinely saying that the underground can log millions of travellers, day in, day out, without a problem, and 650 of us can’t hit a button? It’s just stupid.
“A couple of Mondays ago, I didn’t get home until half past midnight because we were voting. How is anybody with a family supposed to work those hours?”
She also criticised politicians who talk “guff” and have “no clue” about their constituents’ lives.
The MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South ousted Labour MP Douglas Alexander to become the country's youngest MP in May.
In her first week at Westminster, she caused controversy when she sat with the kitchen staff in the canteen at lunch time, instead of in an area exclusively designated for MPs. Her decision to eat a chip butty for lunch was criticised by check out staff for not being "nutritious enough" for the young politician.
She made her maiden speech in the House of Commons on 14 July. A video of her speech uploaded online has been viewed more than 10 million times and praised for her rhetoric style and delivery.
In it, she challenged Labour to join the SNP in opposing austerity and welfare reform.Reuse content