Watch Mhairi Black's maiden speech in the House of Commons - video

Watch the 20-year-old's blistering attack on the Tories

Kiran Moodley
Wednesday 15 July 2015 09:54
Mhairi Black delivers her maiden speech to the House of Commons
Mhairi Black delivers her maiden speech to the House of Commons

Mhairi Black, the youngest MP in the Commons for 250 years who only just completed her degree last month (she got a first, naturally), used her maiden speech in the chamber to launch a scathing attack on David Cameron's Conservative government whilst offering an olive branch to the Labour Party.

Her fellow SNP colleagues gave an enthusiastic round of applause as the new MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South ended her speech addressing issues including benefit sanctions, the budget, and Harriet Harman's call on Labour MPs to abstain on a vote on the Government's welfare and work bill.

On George Osborne's Budget, announced last week, she said, "In this budget the Chancellor also abolished any housing benefit for anyone below the age of 21. So we are now in the ridiculous situation whereby because I am an MP not only am I the youngest, but I am also the only 20-year-old in the whole of the UK that the Chancellor is prepared to help with housing.

"We now have one of the most uncaring, uncompromising and out of touch governments that the UK has seen since Thatcher."

On Labour she said, "Like so many SNP members I come from a traditional socialist, Labour family. Like so many, I feel that it is the Labour party that left me, not the other way about,” she said.

“The SNP did not triumph on a wave of nationalism – it triumphed on a wave of hope – hope that we could have an alternative to the wave of Thatcherite neoliberal policies from this chamber, hope that representatives could genuinely give a voice to those that don’t have them."

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