Westminster diary w/b 6th June


Here we go again. Leave at 6am. The airport is full of cheery holiday makers, grumpy commuters and me, the man with the best job in the world. The day is pretty standard with the investigatory powers bill being front and centre. I managed to breakout and attend a seminar on the universal basic income which was very interesting. Votes took until well after 11 and it was midnight before I got home.


I forego my select committee as it’s a rubber stamp process and attend a briefing from the Nuclear Information Service entitled Britain’s Nuclear Weapons Factory: Past, Present, and Possibilities for the Future. It was a vision for Aldermaston without Trident and it was very positive. I dropped into a speed networking event for carers. I listened intently to their stories. Caring and compassionate people who are campaigning for better government support while supporting their own loved ones through very difficult times. I met with a representative of the Swansea Tidal Lagoon, a system designed to provide clean, renewable energies extracted from a manmade lagoon in Swansea bay. Apart from the economic and environmental sense I was stuck by how beautiful the actual lagoon was. Managed properly it will enhance marine life and support recreational water sports. I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate entitled the complications of diabetes. I am indebted to my sister for sharing her knowledge on this subject. My evening drew to a close with an off-site event hosted by the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space group. It was hugely interesting.


I started the day with a meeting regarding broadband and more specifically a ten point plan for a better Openreach set out by Vodafone UK, Sky, Talk Talk, the Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA) and the Federation of Communication Services (FCS). Prime Minsters Questions came and went and we are no wiser. I attended the Volunteers Scotland reception. During the day there were on-going discussions regarding the failure of the website that is used to register voters. As it had failed, many people had not registered to vote in the EU referendum in time. My select committee is deeply involved as we are responsible for the constitution. The feeling is that the previously published timetable needs to be amended but this will require parliamentary scrutiny so a debate will be scheduled for Thursday.


Starts with the concerning news that BPI in Greenock has been bought over. Time will tell if a rationalisation programme of shared services is required. I stand for questions to the Minster for Culture, Media and Sport but don’t get taken. I was going to take the opportunity for some free publicity for the P1 powerboats “Grand Prix of the sea”. The debate to change the EU referendum timetable took place but was not forced to a vote. This was followed by an important debate on carers.
Before heading to the airport for the 20:30 I dropped in to the Caledonian Club to support the Scottish artist Gerard M Burns and his exhibition at that venue.


I spoke at the Inverclyde Council Annual Carers Week event at St John’s Episcopal Church and later met with representatives of the Heritage Lottery Fund. In the afternoon I met with Skills Development Scotland to discuss a range of issues. In the evening I attended the Action for children’s sports dinner.