Westminster Diary 26 March


Meeting with High Speed 2 Ltd who following an announcement that there are aspirations to extend the high speed rail link to Glasgow and Edinburgh are keen to discuss the matter with Scottish MP’s.

I had the pleasure of meeting teachers and pupils from St Columba’s High school in Gourock when they visited Westminster. We had a time for a quick question and answer session amidst their busy schedule.

My select committee took evidence from the three secretary of states or the “territories”. I hate that word. The new secretary of state for Wales was only 24 hours in the job but along with his Scottish and Northern Ireland counterparts were questioned around intergovernmental relations.

I had a meeting with Angus Robertson MP, these are regular events that ensure the smooth running of the group.


My day started with a seminar on judicial activism. It was very informative but also hard going with a room full of legal eagles talking about the judiciary and government. This was followed by interviews for the position of the public appointments commissioner. To be clear, I was conducting the interviews not applying for the job.

SNP group meeting into the evening, which was extended by a raft of votes.


Scottish questions followed by Prime Ministers questions. I left PMQs to support protestors that had gathered in the central lobby. They were many disabled people angered by the cuts in their benefits. Normally the BBC broadcast from the central lobby during PMQs but they were told to stop which is a pity as the protest was far more interesting than Mr Cameron.

Met with Network Rail to discuss their investment in Scotland and Inverclyde and was heartened to hear about investment in signalling equipment and extension of platforms to accommodate longer trains. I also took the opportunity to raise a few issues around Wemyss Bay station that constituents had brought to my attention.

There was a ten minute rule on the legalisation of cannabis which was interesting. It is scheduled for a second reading.

I had an extremely productive meeting regarding land valuation tax. I only went as an observer but, as often happens in these cases, being the only Scottish MP there I was required to speak. We are a long way off the finished solution regarding land reform but it is good to see that many other parts of the UK look to Scotland for ideas and examples.

I ended the day voting through the Scotland Bill. It was historic but given the end game rather hollow moment


Was a day for writing articles and planning my recess. I am in my constituency from Friday 25th March and back at Westminster on Monday April the 11th
Recess shall be a time to catch up with lots of local people, organisations and businesses.


The office was closed to observe the public holiday.