UK

SNP's Mhairi Black Complains Scotland Has Fewer MPs Than London, Gets Hostile Reaction

'London has 9 million people Scotland about 6 million. What's unfair?'

21/03/2017 22:09 GMT
Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images
Mhairi Black: "The second largest country in the UK can be outvoted by a single city. That's the real shame."

Tensions over Scottish independence are already rising even before its been decided whether a second referendum will take place.

A landmark debate was today held in the Scottish Parliament as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for a rerun of the 2014 vote. MSPs will on Wednesday vote on whether to back the demand. 

The imminent flashpoint has stoked passions, with Mhairi Black, the youngest SNP MP in Westminster, among the most prominent voices spelling out what a vote to break up the United Kingdom would represent. 

That Scotland voted to stay in the EU while the UK overall backed Brexit is the most powerful argument the SNP is making for a second vote so soon after the first.

But Black was also doubling down on the view that Scotland is shunned by Westminster, a common complaint even as the fiercely pro-independence party has become the dominant force representing Scotland in the UK Parliament.

The point was picked up by Financial Times writer, Sebastian Payne.   

Black responded, arguing that the second biggest country in the union could be marginalised by “a single city”, namely London.

Black’s point was clearly the perceived city v country unfairness.

But most of the reaction on social media revolved around the fact MPs represent constituencies roughly the same size, to ensure a vote means as much in one part of the UK as it does in another.

Conservative MP James Cleverly, who previously sat on the London Assembly, was among the first to offer a correction.   

A similar point was made in a number of different ways.

If anything, some suggested Scotland is punching above its weight.

But supporters of independence suggested this was exactly why Scotland should breakaway if the country was always going to be in the shadow of London.