Lesbian MP Mhairi Black slams government as ‘a boys’ club that masquerades as a parliament’

SNP MP Mhairi Black has delivered a scathing criticism of Britain’s parliamentary culture, labelling the government “a boys’ club that masquerades as a parliament.”

The lesbian MP spoke to Channel 4 journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy for his podcast, Ways to Change the World.

Explaining her struggles to enact change on behalf of her constituents, she said: “This isn’t a real functioning parliament. This is a boys’ club that masquerades as a parliament.

“And it masquerades as one because it has no rules, it has no mechanisms for which to actually ‘take back control,’ to use a phrase.”

Guru-Murthy asked Black how she would make it a functioning place. The Scottish politician replied: “For start I would move it out of Westminster. I would be interested in having the parliaments that move around the country, I think that’s a really interesting idea.

“But if that’s not a feasible one I think there should be a new parliament built somewhere further north, more in the middle.”

She’d also scrap first-past-the-post voting in favour of proportional representation, “drastically shake up” the powerful parliamentary committees and change the House of Commons’ working hours to help those with childcare responsibilities.

There’s definitely some dark characters in here.

The discussion moved onto the “unhealthy” culture that often emerges after some MPs start drinking.

“All it takes is one night to go out on the Terrace [Pavilion] where you see folk drinking and that’s where you start to see real personalities coming out, letting the mask slip so to speak,” she said.

“Whether it be behaving inappropriately with people, being absolutely pig ignorant to the staff, demanding whatever it is, you can start to see the examples, and you go, ‘You’re just a horrible, horrible individual.’”

The Scottish MP isn’t known for mincing her words (Twitter/@Channel4News)

She added: “The sense of entitlement, the sense of, ‘I’m untouchable and this is my turf and I’m in charge here’, it’s inescapable at some points.”

Despite Guru-Murthy’s prompting Black refused to name anyone specifically, but cryptically said: “There’s folk that I think, ‘God I don’t know how somebody’s not evaluated you yet, there’s something seriously dark behind your thinking.’

“Oh aye. There’s definitely some dark characters in here.”