Mhairi Black says she 'hates Westminster' may not run for election again in 2020

Youngest MP in nearly 400 years may stand down after single term, saying she finds Parliament 'depressing'

Caroline Mortimer@cjmortimer
Monday 13 March 2017 00:56
Mhairi Black says trying to be 'hip' to get young people to listen just does not work
Mhairi Black says trying to be 'hip' to get young people to listen just does not work

Mhairi Black could stand down at the next election as she “hates” being in Westminster.

The outspoken SNP politician, who became the youngest MP since the 17th century in 2015, has admitted she finds being in the House of Commons “depressing” despite two years in her role as Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP.

The 22-year-old told the Sunday Post: “It has been nearly two years and I still hate the place.

“It is the personal elements – it is a pain to come up and down every week and you are working with a number of people you find quite troubling.

“Professionally, it is more just that so little gets done. It is so old and defunct in terms of its systems and procedures – a lot of the time, it is just a waste of time.”

She said she was not sure if she would run for election again in 2020 but she is relaxed about her future.“I have a habit of falling into things,” she said “I fell into university, fell into this and have fallen into most jobs I’ve had.”

Ms Black, who became a household name when she unseated Labour’s shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander at the age of 20, has become an outspoken campaigner on social issues with her maiden speech on welfare cuts being viewed over 10 million times on YouTube.

In particular she is praised as a straight talking politician who young voters relate to.

She made headlines earlier this week when she appeared to mouth “you talk s***e hen” to Conservative MP Caroline Nokes during a debate about housing benefit cuts in the Commons.

But Ms Black said she is fed up of people fixating on her youth and said during the election campaign people had focused on the issues.

She said: “I’m sick of folk mentioning it.

“What I always say is that trying to tailor politics to be ‘young, hip and cool’ is exactly the kind of patronising guff that puts off young folk.

“If you want to talk to young folk about politics then just talk politics. They will listen.”

She denied claims that she could be a future SNP leader saying: “Have you seen how little personal time Nicola Sturgeon has? I wouldn’t fancy that at all”.

But she is adamant she would play a significant role in the Yes campaign if there is a second independence referendum.

She said: “I would do whatever I need to do. It is why I got into this whole game, so aye I would. Independence is going to happen.

“I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but it is going to happen. All roads point to it.”

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