The SNP's Mhairi Black proved on Tuesday that age is no barrier to dominating the political agenda, setting the House of Commons ablaze with a barnstorming first-ever speech in the 300-year-old chamber.
The 20-year-old, Britain's youngest MP since 1667, cited Tony Benn, William Wallace and even Margaret Thatcher in her Westminster debut, laying claim to Labour's mantle of social justice.
It prompted rapturous reception from Angus Robertson, leader of the SNP in Westminster, Owen Jones, the embattled Socialist and newspaper columnist, fellow MPs, and even The Sun newspaper.
According to Twitter -
(1) Gettysburg Address
(2) @MhairiBlack's maiden speech
(3) MLK's 'I have a dream'— General Boles (@GeneralBoles) July 14, 2015
— Angus Robertson (@AngusRobertson) July 14, 2015
Mhairi Black just made a superb maiden speech full of guts and passion sadly lacking in so many in this chamber.— Tommy Sheppard MP (@TommySheppard) July 14, 2015
Might move to Mhairi Black's constituency http://t.co/rka9UspprZ— Ellie Mae O'Hagan (@MissEllieMae) July 14, 2015
Whether you support the SNP or not it is impossible to deny that Mhairi Black's speech was superb. Great work.— Mark McDougall (@McDougall1994) July 14, 2015
You really should be watching @MhairiBlack maiden speech - she is setting out how Lab lost Scotland. My, she is impressive— Tony Grew (@ayestotheright) July 14, 2015
SNP's @MhairiBlack v moving constituent story on benefits sanctions - if chancellor says the sun is shining who is it shining on, she asks?— Torcuil Crichton (@Torcuil) July 14, 2015
A very heartfelt maiden speech by @MhairiBlack "I am now the only 20 year old in the UK who is eligible for Housing Benefit"— Liam Beattie (@Liam_Beattie) July 14, 2015
Simply stunning speech from @MhairiBlack , we all know how good Mhairi is, now the Parliament have had their first chance to hear.— Owen Thompson MP (@OwenThompson) July 14, 2015
I had been rather disillusioned with politics this last week thanks to Greece, the budget and Labour infighting. That was until @MhairiBlack— Callum Tyler (@cal_tyler) July 14, 2015
In her address, Black attacked David Cameron's administration for being the most "uncaring, uncompromising and out of touch governments that the UK has seen since Thatcher".
She also criticised George Osborne's welfare cuts, noting that as an MP with a housing allowance she was "the only 20-year old in the UK the chancellor is prepared to help with housing".
Black delivered one of the landmark moments of May's election when she defeated Labour's election campaign chief Douglas Alexander to win the Paisley and Renfrewshire South seat. On May 7 the SNP won all but three of Scotland's 59 constituencies - leaving Labour with just one.
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