This 20-year-old woman is now the UK's youngest lawmaker. NBD.
It’s not everyday that a 20-something joins a major lawmaking body, but yesterday was one of those. That’s thanks to Mhairi Black, who, after Thursday’s election in the UK, became the youngest member of Great Britain’s Parliament.
Last night, the country’s elections made headlines around the world as the David Cameron-led Conservative Party was swept to power, taking over 331, or 51 percent, of the seats in the 650-seat legislative body. In response, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband announced his resignation this morning.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Mhairi Black is now a representative of the smaller Scottish National Party, which now holds the majority of Scotland’s 59 seats in Parliament and campaigned on a platform of Scottish independence.
For her part, Black beat out 47-year-old Labour Party candidate and foreign policy spokesman Douglas Alexander for the seat of Paisley and Renfrewshire South—all while completing her degree in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. Her election makes Black the youngest politician to join the British Parliament since 13-year-old Christopher Monck took his seat—in 1667.
In her official SNP biography, Black describes herself as an avid music lover and football fanatic who developed an early interest in politics, even marching in an anti-Iraq War demonstration while she was still in grammar school.
“I have always been politically motivated, particularly for the pursuit of social justice,” Black says. “I truly believe that the only way to bring the powers we were promised, and the social justice that Scotland so desperately needs, is to have a strong group of SNP MP’s at Westminster to ensure our voices are heard.”
Check out her big acceptance speech, which she posted to Twitter today. She makes some insider jokes, and commits herself to her constituents. She also manages to stay grounded, despite making history. “I’d like to than my mom, my dad, my brother and my close friends,” she says, “for your support and all the help that’s kept me through this campaign.”