SNP MP Mhairi Black has announced she will be stepping down at the next General Election, saying she is tired of Westminster’s “toxic environment”.

Over nearly a decade she has gone from becoming the youngest MP to be elected in 2015 to serving as the SNP’s depute leader in the Commons.

Now aged 28, she says the thought that she has spent a third of her life in the “poisonous place” of Westminster gives her “the ick”.

Here’s we look back at five of Black’s most memorable moments.

Making history as the youngest MP

Black first came to prominence with her astounding victory in the 2015 General Election.

Not only did she win the seat of Paisley and Renfrewshire South with a massive 27% swing, she unseated Labour’s Douglas Alexander, then shadow foreign secretary who had held the seat since 1997.

At the age of 20, the university student became the youngest MP since the 17th century.

In her victory speech she said: “This election is about making the voice of this constituency and the whole of Scotland heard more effectively at Westminster than ever before.

“I pledge to use this voice not just to improve Scotland, but to pursue progressive politics for the benefit of people across the UK.”

Inspiring maiden speech

Being the ‘baby’ of the House of Commons didn’t stop Black making a storming maiden speech which won rave reviews and was shared thousands of times on social media.

She started with a dig at George Osborne abolishing housing benefit for people below the age of 21, saying: “We are now in the ridiculous situation whereby, because I am an MP, not only am I the youngest but also I am the only 20-year-old in the whole of the UK that the Chancellor is prepared to help with housing.”

Black criticised the high levels of unemployment in her constituency and the growth in the number of food banks, saying: “Food banks are not part of the welfare state. They are a sign that the welfare state is failing.”

And she referenced her family’s background as staunch Labour supporters saying: "I feel it is the Labour Party that left me, not the other way about."

Attack on UK 'fascism’

Another of Black’s speeches which went viral on social media was an impassioned statement attacking the UK Government over its immigration policy in May 2022.

Citing Downing Street’s plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda and proposals to privatise Channel 4, the MP argued: “This is just little England elites drunk on the memory of a British Empire that no longer exists.”

She continued: “We have the lowest pensions in Europe, the lowest sick pay, we pretend the minimum wage is a living wage when it’s not. We miss our own economic targets time and time again. We’re happy to break international law.

“We are turning into a country where words hold no value and over the last 12 years I fear we are sleepwalking closer and closer to the f-word and I know everyone is scared to say it for fear of sounding over the top or being accused of going too far.

“But I say this with all sincerity, when I say the f-word, I’m talking about fascism. Fascism wrapped in red, white and blue.”

LGBT champion

Black has always been a champion of LGBT rights.

She recently told how her response when people ask when she came out as a lesbian is that she says them she was “never in” and is a “big fan of being gay”.

In a video for LGBT history month she hailed comedian Hannah Gadsby as her favourite “lesbian heroine” and said she wished she'd seen more LGBT people have a platform while she was growing up.

She added: “So now even in my short lifetime we are already seeing the progress continue.

“It is something to be proud of, not taken for granted.

“I do think most people are on board with it.

“It shouldn't be a thing that you are gay. It is just part of who someone is, that’s it.”

In June 2022, she tied the knot with her partner Katie at a ceremony in Glasgow, promoting a flood of good wishes on social media.

Swearing in Scots

Black was told off for using a Scots swear word in the House of Commons earlier this year.

Discussing the cost of living crisis, she spoke of the increasing levels of poverty being seen across the UK, adding that the past five Tory prime ministers had blamed the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine for the “havoc” they have caused.

Black continued: “This is a dangerous government making bad decisions on top of a global pandemic but mind you we shouldn’t be surprised given they seem to have been p**hed half the time at parties in No 10.”

Deputy Speaker Rosie Winterton then interjected and told Black: “I should just say to the honourable lady she really must not use language like that. Please don’t. I hope you will apologise.”

Black then replied: “Inebriated, intoxicated, they were paralytic at parties in No 10. Is that alright?”