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The SNP's New MPs Have Arrived In London And They're A Little Overwhelmed

"I've already got lost in parliament," said one.

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The SNP's massive group of new MPs have introduced themselves to the UK press outside the Palace of Westminster.

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The SNP won a landslide victory in Scotland in last Thursday's general election, seeing its tally rise from six MPs to 56, out of Scotland's 59 – almost entirely at the expense of Scottish Labour, which has been all but wiped out.

The new team was led out to meet the press by first minister Nicola Sturgeon, deputy SNP leader Stewart Hosie, and the SNP's Westminster leader, Angus Robertson.

Alex Salmond, the most high-profile of the SNP's new parliamentary group, uncharacteristically stayed away from the limelight during the photo shoot itself.

Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

Unlike Salmond, a parliamentary veteran, many of the SNP's MPs are new to politics and some found their first day a bit overwhelming. They had been given a tour that afternoon – for most, it was their first time in parliament – and had been shown to their temporary lockers. Within the next couple of weeks they'll be given their new offices. Many are weighing up whether to rent a flat in London or travel from Scotland.

Chris Law, the new MP for Dundee West, told BuzzFeed News that he found parliament slightly intimidating.

Jamie Ross / BuzzFeed

"It's so overwhelming," Law said, amid a media scrum. "It's a complete labyrinth inside – I've already done a tour and got lost. Hopefully I'll be able to find my way around eventually."

Not only was it Law's first time in parliament, he had only been to London a few times before. He's unsure if he'll be moving to London quite yet. "I don't know what the procedure is," he said, "but the team here at the SNP will keep me well-briefed and keep me well, you know, they know exactly what happens next.

"I've got quite a bit to learn about London. Obviously I'm here for business but it'd be a shame not to see London while I'm here, and I just found out that William Wallace was tried in parliament, in Westminster Hall, so that's interesting."

Law said that he's inspired by William Wallace, and that the Wallace legend "lends something towards the feistiness of Scots". He also pledged to visit Mary Queen of Scots' tomb inside Westminster Abbey, over the road from parliament.

The press were particularly interested in Mhairi Black, the 20-year-old who has become the UK's youngest MP for centuries.

Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

After the formal photo shoot, Salmond and Sturgeon appeared keen to keep Black front and centre – so expect to see more of her on your TV screens during this parliament.

Jamie Ross / BuzzFeed

After the MPs went back inside, Salmond took questions from the press and said the new pack of MPs would ensure that the promise of new powers for Scotland is delivered "in full".

"We want to achieve as much progress as we can," he said. "And in particular we want to see the delivery of the promises that were made last autumn – home rule, devo to the max, and near federalism, to quote Gordon Brown.

"I think it's entirely reasonable with the extraordinary mandate that Nicola Sturgeon has won in Scotland that we see these commitments to the Scottish people redeemed and redeemed in full."

When asked about whether there will be another independence referendum in the near future, Salmond said: "Let's just see where we go, shall we?"

In the meantime, SNP MPs like Kirsty Blackman will continue to acclimatise themselves to Westminster and London.

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at

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