How this 23-year-old Labour MP elected last week has become an instant icon
YouTube/Nadia Whittome

Nadia Whittome has barely been a Labour MP for Nottingham East for 48 hours and she's already an icon.

Yesterday she told Nottingham Live that she would donate more than half her salary to local charities, saying until wages rise for workers, she will only take a "worker's wage".

She has vowed to take home £35,000 – still a lot more than the average salary of £28,677 – but £44,000 short of the pay she is entitled to (£79,468).

Whittome said:

It's not about philanthropy and it's not that MPs don't deserve that salary, it's the fact our teaching assistants, nurses and firefighters do as well. When they get the pay rise they deserve, so will I. I hope this decision sparks a conversation about earnings.

The day after the election, she tweeted that being elected a socialist MP for her home city was "the greatest honour of [her] life", and that she would be "a new kind of MP, inspired by radical women of colour across the world".

People were into her even before her promise to donate her salary, people were loving her vibe, and she was actually interacting with her constituents on social media, which sadly feels all too rare.

But as soon as her huge gesture for financial inequality made headlines, the support and excitement for her win got even bigger, seemingly across all demographics.

Scottish ministers, including Nicola Sturgeon, have refused a pay increase for years, choosing to use taxpayers' money to pay for public services, but it's a small percentage of their total salary, and Nicola Sturgeon still makes £135,605 before tax.

In the 1980s, MP for Coventry South East Dave Nellist chose to only take 40 per cent of the salary he was entitled to, as he believed it was the equivalent of the salary for a skilled factory worker. In 1991 he was expelled from the Labour Party for Militant tendencies.

To have a young, progressive woman of colour from outside of London sitting in parliament is huge, and to have her be this awesome just makes the whole thing even better. Needless to say, we stan.

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