A SNP MP has announced they will stand down at the next general election amid the “toxic environment” in Westminster.
The SNP’s deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black told The News Agents podcast that Westminster is “one of the most unhealthy workplaces that you could ever be in.”
She told Emily Maitlis, “I wanted to be able to have a human conversation about why I’ve made the decision not to stand at the next general election.
“I thought there is no better person to have a conversation with than yourself… I’m stepping down at the next general election.”
She was asked whey she made this decision, she said, “Honestly, because I’m tired is a big part of it. And the thing that makes me tired is Westminster.
“I think it is one of the most unhealthy workplaces that you could ever be in. It’s a toxic environment.
“Just the entire design of the place and how it functions is just the opposite of everything that I find comfortable…
“It’s definitely a poisonous place.
“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, and it’s just not a nice place to be in.”
She added, “Given the unsociable hours that Westminster works as well, it feels like you’re spending a lot of your life there.
“In the run-up to the next election, I’ve realised, that will be almost 10 years that I’ll have been elected.
“So, a third of my life I’ve spent in Westminster, which gives me the ick.”
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn simply tweeted that Ms Black is “in a class of her own.”
First Minister and SNP leader Humza Yousaf said, “She has been a trailblazer – a passionate supporter of independence, equality, social justice, and simply of trying to make life better for her constituents and the wider Scottish public.
“She has also served as a role model for young people, especially women, with an interest or a desire to get involved in politics.
“I know that Mhairi has been critical of the toxic, hostile environment of Westminster, which serves as an important wake-up call to those who are determined to safeguard our democracy.”
Former SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to Ms Black, tweeting: “Both gutted by and entirely understanding of this. Her reasons resonate.
“But what a loss of a unique talent, not just to the SNP but to politics generally. I only hope it’s temporary.”