The UK’s youngest member of parliament for 300 years reveals she turned down a makeover from a senior party leader, Holyrood Magazine reports.
The gay Scottish Nationalist Member of Parliament Mhairi Black got the makeover offer from the former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond. Black told the magazine:
‘I was just chatting away to him and spending the whole time thinking “what’s the point of this? Is this a date? Do I need to come out to Alex Salmond?”‘
And then she reveals that Salmond suggested a fellow MP Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh might help her choose clothes:
‘It was fine, really, he was just giving me tips here and there. And then he says “I’m sure Taz will take you out to go shopping or something at some point and you’ll find your own style.”‘
Black continues: ‘I thought, “Oh very good.” I just left the awkward silence hanging when he asked me if I wanted him to arrange it with Taz.’
Ultimately, she makes clear what she thought of the offer:
‘I’m like, I’m never going to be told how to dress, especially by a man.’
She doesn’t feel supported by her party
Black is a loud and prominent figure in the British press because of her youth in parliament. Earlier this year Black was named ‘Politician of the year’ at the Diva Magazine awards.
In the Holyrood Magazine interview, she also reveals she has never had a ‘real’ one-on-one conversation with her party leader Nicola Sturgeon.
Salmond also told Black, he’d offered advice to Sturgeon who is the current First Minister of Scotland as well as SNP party leader.
‘I think things should change and that it might be an idea for Nicola to take the time to talk to folk. I hope that someone else further down the line does have a different experience to me.
Black also said she had received little in the way of support from the party after being elected as a 20-year-old.
‘There should be more care..there you go. I know I’m doing that thing again, where I’m maybe minimising it because it’s myself I’m talking about.
‘I don’t want to make out I was really needy or anything. But I think that’s an area where the party does need a kick up the backside. Especially given the kind of caring ethos that we like to preach in the party.’
Black is one of the record number of out LGBTI MPs in UK Parliament
Following the 2017 General Election, 45 out LGBTI MPs were elected – up from 39 after the 2015 election.
That represents 7% of the 650 seats in the Houses of Parliament. This means the UK has the highest representation of LGBTI politicians of any country in the world.
That 45 figure breaks down as 19 Conservatives, 19 Labour and 7 SNP (Scottish National Party).
Of the 45, there are 36 men and 9 women. Although a handful of transgender candidates stood for election, none were successful yesterday.
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