Since arriving in Parliament in 2015, Mhairi Black has caused a stir in Westminster. The 23-year-old SNP MP rarely misses the chance to criticise the place – whether it’s the ‘old and defunct’ systems and procedures or the ‘sociopaths’ that inhabit it. Now it seems that not even her own party is beyond criticism.
In an interview with Holyrood magazine, Black recalls an incident involving Alex Salmond, then an SNP MP. The party veteran took Black to lunch in a Commons restaurant, where he offered her some fashion advice:
‘I was just sitting chatting away to him and the whole time I’m thinking, what’s the point of this meant to be – is this a date, do I need to come out to Alex Salmond? It was fine, really, he was just giving me tips here and there and then he says, ‘I’m sure Taz [Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh, then a fellow SNP MP] will take you out to go shopping or something at some point and you’ll find your own style’.
To prove the worth of his words, Salmond went on to explain that the last young female politician he had given sartorial advice to was Nicola Sturgeon:
‘I thought, ‘oh, very good’ and I just left the awkward silence hanging when he asked me if I wanted him to arrange it with Taz. I’m like, ‘I am never going to be told how to dress, especially by a man.’