Parliament is a “real bastion of privilege” where “legislation is practically designed in a sea of booze”, an SNP MP has claimed.
Pete Wishart voiced his discomfort with the culture in Westminster, arguing that it had a “peculiar historic culture that practically oozes patriarchy and an abuse of power”.
Speaking during a Commons debate on establishing an independent complaints and grievance policy in Parliament, the MP for Perth and North Perthshire said: “I hate the culture in this House”, adding: “I always find it a little bit uncomfortable, there’s something, it’s maybe the Scottish Nationalist in me, that it perhaps grates just a little bit.”
“This House has a peculiar historic culture that practically oozes patriarchy and an abuse of power.”
He went on: “Our workplace is a real bastion of privilege where we call friends…strangers and our legislation is practically designed in a sea of booze with the very many bars that we have within the perimeter of this particular chamber.”
Mr Wishart, who is shadow SNP leader of the House of Commons, said: “I don’t know any other workplace in my constituency which would have six bars as a feature of its normal day-to-day business and I think we have to recognise that…the way the whole place is designed it can lead to difficulties and issues and we began to see them in the course of the past years.”
SNP Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central) intervened adding: “He’s making a very good point about the sea of alcohol in this place and would he share my concerns that I was at an event that started at 1pm this afternoon and wine was being served, does he consider that appropriate within this building?
Mr Wishart, who joked his workplace background was in a rock band, said there was “no going back”, adding: “I hope that this little report will maybe mark the beginning of the end of some of the horrible, appalling practices we’ve seen in this House over the years.”