A VETERAN SNP MP has branded the claim made by Mhairi Black that some of the party’s MPs had become too comfortable at Westminster as “lazy and clumsy”.

Pete Wishart, who first became an MP in 2001, was asked by the BBC about comments his fellow parliamentarian had made on Times Radio earlier this month -  where Black claimed some SNP politicians “absolutely love” life in London.

The Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP did not specify who she was referring to but said: “I’ve come across ones where I’ve thought, ‘hmmm, you appear slightly more comfortable than I think you should be’.”

Appearing on the BBC Scotland’s Podlitical podcast, Wishart was asked if he felt the comment was aimed at him, having been in the House of Commons for almost a quarter of a century.

He said he did not and was not “personally offended”, but was critical of Black’s commentary.

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“Our objective and mission is to ensure our nation becomes independent and that we leave the place under the best possible terms, but we’ve got jobs to do down here,” Wishart said.

“I chair the Scottish Affairs Committee as well as a number of other responsibilities I have, so it’s a very easy and lazy claim to say that just because you’re trying to do your job and do it effectively and make sure your constituents are represented that you’re somehow settled and are comfortable.

“I think Mhairi used clumsy language.”

Despite his criticism, Wishart added that he knew what Black was getting at and went on to say he would be “totally lost” if he worked in the Scottish Parliament.

He went on: “I certainly didn’t take any personal offence. Mhairi is a very good friend of mine and she did explain what she was trying to say - this idea that when people are so long in Westminster you become acclimatised to the workings and arrangements of the place.

“For example, I would find it really hard to operate in the Scottish Parliament because I’ve been here so long and I’m used to the means of how Westminster conducts business.

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“I would be totally lost at the Scottish Parliament and I think that’s what Mhairi was trying to say in her own particular way.”

Black previously announced she will stand down as an MP after the next General Election, having described Westminster as “toxic”.

Wishart was also asked about his attitude as an MP, and whether he felt his job was about “working constructively” in the Westminster system rather than pushing back against it.

He said: “I think it’s more simple than that. We’ve just got to try and do our job well.

“I always say at every election when I go to the podium to thank people, I’m the MP for everyone in my constituency regardless of how they voted and I think we’ve always got to remember that while we were elected on an SNP ticket, there’s other people out there who perhaps do not share our political affiliations and you’ve still got a job to represent them.”