Ahead of the arrival of 56 SNP MPs in Westminster yesterday, Alex Salmond offered his new colleagues some advice in a recent interview. He said: ‘Make your voice heard, represent your constituents, and stay out the Strangers Bar’.
So far, so good. In fact, Salmond will no doubt be glad to hear that his fellow MPs have taken his advice and stayed out of the Strangers bar. Instead, they have opted to make Parliament’s sports and social bar their new base. Word reaches Steerpike that a few members of staff had their noses put out of joint last night when the lesser frequented bar was unexpectedly busy. ‘It was packed full of the SNP gang – on a Monday,’ Mr S’s mole sighs.
It’s perhaps only fitting that they have opted for this bar, given that a few Tory MPs nickname it the ‘sports and socialist’. Previously described by the Guardian as the bar ‘used by younger passholders, some reputedly “on the pull”, not MPs,’ it seems the SNP intake are already shaking up Westminster.
No word yet on whether they opted for a glass of pink champagne, Salmond’s favoured tipple.
Update: Salmond practices what he preaches. The former First Minister spent last night on the Commons’ terrace, entertaining hacks from the Daily Mail, Guardian, Herald and Mirror until closing time. Salmond was in a jolly mood and a hive of stories for the eager hacks. He apparently promised a series of high profile, tell-all interviews. Let’s see if he keeps to his word.