SNP MP Mhairi Black stepping down at next general election, blaming ‘toxic’ Westminster workplace

Mhairi Black challenged anti-transgender viewpoints

Scottish National Party MP Mhairi Black has announced she will step down at the next general election as she’s “tired [of Westminster’s] toxic environment”. 

Openly lesbian Black told The News Agents podcast of her decision on Tuesday (4 July). 

The Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP said: “Honestly, because I’m tired is a big part of it. And the thing that makes me tired is Westminster.

“It is one of the most unhealthy workplaces that you could ever be in. It’s a toxic environment. The entire design of the place and how it functions is the opposite of everything that I find comfortable.” 

When she first entered parliament in 2015, Black, at 20 years and 237 days old, was the youngest MP to be elected since 1832.

Calling Westminster a “poisonous place”, Black added: “Whether that’s because of what folk can get away with in it, or the number of personal motivations – and folk having ulterior motives for things – it’s just not a nice place to be in.” 

You may like to watch

With the next general election due no later than January 2025, Black highlighted that she would have spent almost a decade of her life spent in Westminster, which she gave her “the ick”. 

In a statement posted to her Twitter account, Black said she would continue working towards an independent Scotland, but “as a campaigner rather than a candidate”.

Black’s departure will be a loss for LGBTQ+ rights because she has used her platform to stand up for queer rights and publically shoot down misinformed toxic rhetoric.

She has previously said that it was understandable why members of the public who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ were confused by trans issues.

“I understand how the vast majority of people aren’t aware of trans issues, they aren’t aware of the complexities that people have to go through, which is exactly why I think the Scottish government have been right in going to the experts.”

Black also said that she had no sympathy for Rosie Duffield’s “misinformed” views on trans rights.

In 2019, Black spoke out about a “toxic” backlash against transgender rights and accused opponents of trans rights of spreading “misconceptions and outright lies”.

She has been forced to develop a thick skin and in 2018 gave the best response to a Twitter troll who attempted to insult her because of her sexuality.

Black follows fellow SNP MPs Peter Grant, Douglas Chapman, Ian Blackford, Stewart Hosie and Angela Crawley who have also decided not to stand at the next General Election.

Please login or register to comment on this story.