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Mhairi Black to step down as MP at next election

Mhairi Black, the SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, has announced that she will step down as an MP at the next election. 

The party’s Deputy Leader at Westminster was first elected in 2015 and has championed LGBTQ+ rights and equality during her time in office. 

“I’m tired is a big part of it and the thing that makes me tired is Westminster,” she told ‘The News Agents’ podcast on 4 July.

“I think it is one of the most unhealthy workplaces that you could ever be in.”

Black becomes the sixth MP to announce that they will not contest their seat at the next election, which is scheduled to take place next year. 

Nicola Sturgeon, former First Minister of Scotland, said she was “gutted by and entirely understanding” of Black’s decision.

“I only hope it’s temporary,” she continued. “The world needs more Mhairi Blacks in politics, not fewer.”

At just 28-years-old, Black has made a name for herself for her unapologetic approach to advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and the issues affecting those within it.

LGBTQ-inclusive education has been at the forefront of her agenda throughout her tenure and, in September 2021, this was rolled out in Scotland after years of campaigning.

“If my school had invited a gay MP and a drag queen to visit during LGBT History Month, or even acknowledged that LGBT History Month existed, it would have made an immeasurable difference to the difficult childhoods my LGBT classmates and I had,” she stated back in 2020.

Black’s viral ‘F word’ speech criticised the so-called ‘culture wars’ being pushed by the Conservative Party and right-wing media, with the politician expressing fears over where the UK is heading under the current government’s leadership.

Referencing its plans to overhaul the Human Rights Act, which covers things like the right to a fair trial and freedom of expression, she famously asked: “For who do they think rights have gone too far? Do you know how scary it is to sit at home and wonder if it’s you?”


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