MHAIRI Black admitted she was trying not swear as she embarked in an heated confrontation with Conservatives over state pension age changes.

Now the SNP's pensions spokewoman, Ms Black in an obvious reference to previously being caught swearing in the House, refined her venom with less controversial words such as "guff" and "rubbish" and there was a wince when she uttered the 'shi' word. It turned out to be 'shiny'.

The MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South tore into the Conservatives' record as she called on the government to justify an increase in the number of women aged 60 claiming benefits after the state pension age was raised.

But the SNP members were accused by Conservative MPs of political point scoring which has done nothing to helpe the pensioners.


However five Tories joined opposition parties in backing an SNP motion which asked the Government to improve transitional measures for women born on or after April 6 1951 who have been "adversely" affected by moves to speed up increases in the state pension age.

The motion was passed by 288 votes to 0, as the vast majority of Tory MPs again abstained on a non-binding opposition motion.

Douglas Ross, Conservative MP for Moray, was among those who voted for the improvements, having earlier tackled Ms Black and the SNP on their "attitude" to the issue.

After the vote, Ms Black said: "The Government should be ashamed of their response to this debate. The motion passed 288 - 0. The shambles of a Government abstained again."

She had began her response to the debate saying: "I know that the job of summing up is to sum up the debate but I was trying to figure out a way to do it without swearing, if I am really honest.


"I want to start with the Scottish Conservatives.. my honourable member eloquently said that they've got a brass neck, now I have to say I am happy to supply the Brasso for that brass neck. Honest to god, how shiny it is, for the amount of rubbish that has been spoken in this chamber today by those members, is appalling."

Plans to increase the state pension age for women between 2010 and 2020 were initially set out in 1995.

But this process was sped up by the coalition government in 2011, resulting in the state pension age for women due to increase to 65 in November 2018 and to 66 by October 2020.

Campaigners, led by the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) group, argue women affected by the changes have been required to rethink their retirement plans at relatively short notice and have suffered financial hardship.

Mr Ross interjected: "It wasn't just me that was criticising the attitude of the SNP, it was WASPI women in Moray who wrote to me concerned about the attitude of members of these benches, which turns this into an issue, not get support from across the aisles, but simply to score political points, and that's not going to achieve the right results for the WASPI women."


And Ms Black moved to point out that since she had been elected they had debated the issue 12 times and on each each occasion the government had abstained.

Conservative MPs abstained on a number of recent opposition motions in the Commons, which do not require action by ministers.

She added: " I would like the honourable member to tell me what he thinks I should have done that I have not done yet. Can he? Go on."

Later she said: "Oh I'm loving the laughter coming from the other side. If you want to tell me what's funny, I suggest an intervention."


It came from Tory Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson who said: "The diatribe we have heard from the benches today opposite, has been nothing but narrow party political point scoring that's achieved nothing for WASPI, nothing for those affected and only for the interests of the SNP, they deserve better."

Ms Black retorted: "It's a bit rich for the honourable member to talk about the attitude from this bench considering some of the guff that's been coming from that side."


She wrapped up her speech saying: "Three years ago we were told we were Better Together, the strong shoulders of the United Kingdom. Vote No to save your pension. It's been three years. If we are Better Together, prove it."

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, who challenged the Government to have the guts to vote against the measure, called for Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke to "come to this chamber and recognise parliamentary democracy" and outline how the Government would implement changes in the wake of the vote.

Mr Gauke now has 12 weeks to make a statement to Parliament on the vote, under changes brought in by Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom.

Mhairi Black's performance in the Commons. Source: