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SNP’s Mhairi Black on barriers in ‘boys club’ politics as a young gay woman

Nick Duffy March 17, 2016

Scottish MP Mhairi Black has spoken about the barriers she faces in politics.

Last year, Ms Black became the Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire South aged just 20, when she defeated Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander.

Now aged 21, the Scottish National Party politician spoke to the Guardian columnist Owen Jones about her experiences of Westminster.

She said: “All the things that I thought and argued during the referendum. and during the general election have unfortunately turned out to be totally true

“It is a complete boys club, totally.

“If you want to cover barriers into politics, I cover a lot of bases. I’m young, female, gay, I’m SNP – hardly the most popular down in Westminster!

“But even when I’m there, I’m taken aback by – in the first instance, how patronising some folk were, and in the second instance how sexist people were.

“It’s subtle sexism, but it still exists. The arrogance and the ‘darlings’ and the ‘oh don’t worry yourself’ and all this rubbish… it’s so excluded from reality.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s a totally defunct institution that has to drag itself into the 21st century if it wants any hope of surviving.

“It allows tradition to rule over reason… which is just ridiculous.”

The MP previously schooled a Twitter troll who branded her a “gruff old lezzer” and misspelt her name.

She responded: “It’s ‘Mhairi’. At least spell the name right when you’re insulting the gruff, rather young lesbian.”

More: Gay, LGBT, Mhairi Black, mp, Scotland, scottish national party, SNP

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