Scotland politics

First week at work for Scotland's new MPs

Houses of Parliament Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Scotland's new MPs have been sworn in at Westminster

Scotland's 22 new MPs have been officially sworn in, and are getting to grips with life in the Houses of Commons.

It has been a turbulent week at Westminster since the election, with extended talks over the formation of a government and delays to the Queen's Speech.

Against this backdrop, Scotland's new MPs have been learning the ropes. Many of them have been keeping their constituents up-to-date via social media. So what have they been telling?

Hugh Gaffney - Labour MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill

Image copyright Hugh Gaffney / Twitter
Image caption Hugh Gaffney attracted attention for wearing his old work shirt on his first day as an MP

One new Labour member who turned heads on his first day was Hugh Gaffney.

The member for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill followed in the footsteps of Labour legend Keir Hardie by wearing his old work shirt on his first trip to the Commons.

Spying the ParcelForce logo on the former postie's shirt, someone apparently asked Mr Gaffney what he was supposed to be delivering: "justice for workers" came the prompt reply.

Elsewhere, Lesley Laird had a pretty good week as the new Labour MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

Not only did she recapture Gordon Brown's old seat in Fife, once the safest of safe Labour heartlands, but she was appointed Jeremy Corbyn's new shadow Scottish secretary.

Douglas Ross and John Lamont - Conservative MPs

Image copyright John Lamont / Twitter
Image caption Dougla Ross and John Lamont have moved their Holyrood running club to London

Two Conservative MSPs-turned-MPs handled the change of scenery by carrying on some of their old habits in a new setting.

Douglas Ross and John Lamont used to go running together in Edinburgh - now they do it in London.

The move to Westminster didn't stop their old Holyrood colleagues poking some fun; Edward Mountain claimed Olympic athlete turned Tory MSP Brian Whittle was "delighted the slow runners have moved to London".

Moray MP Mr Ross said life at Westminster was "very different" to the more modern parliament at Holyrood, with "very peculiar ways of doing things".

David Linden - SNP MP for Glasgow East

Image copyright David Linden / Twitter
Image caption David Linden was given a new pencil case by his mum for his first day, and discovered some "facilities" for MPs only

David Linden is one new MP who probably won't need to be shown where the canteen is. The SNP member for Glasgow East previously worked for Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss.

Not only do they now represent neighbouring constituencies, they have been allocated neighbouring coat pegs - complete with pink ribbons to hang their swords on.

He described the first meeting of parliament as "more pantomime than anything", and said there was a strange "us and them mentality" with some areas for MPs only. "There are some toilets I was never allowed in before because I was a staffer not an MP," he said.

To reinforce the "first day at school" feeling, Mr Linden was sworn in wearing his old Bannerman High School tie, and revealed that his mum had even bought him a new pencil case for his first day.

Christine Jardine - Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West

Image caption Christine Jardine tweeted ahead of her swearing-in: "Nervous? Oh yes."

New Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine is another who has spent time at Westminster, as an advisor to the coalition government.

However, the Edinburgh West representative professed to being nervous ahead of her swearing-in, and said it was still easy to get lost now she is allowed in members-only areas.

It has also been a turbulent start to the new parliament for the Lib Dems, with leader Tim Farron resigning - and Dunbartonshire East MP Jo Swinson tipped as a potential successor.

Ms Jardine said being an MP was a "huge privilege".

She said: "It's quite overpowering sometimes when you think about the people who have gone before you - it's a lot to live up to. But you have to not let yourself be drawn in too much - the day job is back in the constituency, it's the constituents and their issues that matter and come first."

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