SNP on PR offensive over fox hunting as new MP Mhairi Black stars in maiden speech

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has continued to show its ability to remain a powerful communications force after its high-profile interjection in the fox hunting debate and the maiden speech by new MP Mhairi Black that proved hugely popular on social media.

Yesterday the SNP said its 56 MPs would vote against government proposals to relax the hunting ban. The Government subsequently said it would postpone the vote and introduce new proposals "in due course".

The issue caused some controversy because such a move would not affect Scotland, and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon undertook a number of media interviews to emphasise her party’s stance:

On Twitter, senior Conservative Grant Shapps summarised the views of many:

There was also the view that the SNP’s stance could backfire on the party as it would be forced to confront the issue of whether MPs north of the border should be allowed to vote on issues that do not affect Scotland:

But others said it highlighted a weakness of the Conservative Party:

Meanwhile, 20-year old Black, the youngest person ever to be elected as an MP, received many positive responses on social media to her first speech in the Commons yesterday.

After joking that she is the only 20-year-old in the UK whom George Osborne was helping with her housing bill, Black slated the Government for cutting housing benefit and urged Labour MPs not to vote for the planned cut to tax credits. Black said: "I reach out a genuine hand of friendship that I can only hope will be taken. Let us come together. Let us be that opposition."

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