Westminster diary w/b 11th July


The internal party politics of the Conservative and the Labour parties have dominated life at Westminster recently. As a result debates are poorly attended and committee meetings have been cancelled. I stood for questions during work and pensions questions but was over looked. This job is full of frustrations.

I attended an event aimed at regenerating costal communities. It was interesting to hear stories from coastal towns around the UK that would be very familiar to the people of Inverclyde. The group was highly critical of the HS2 project and highlighted the lack of UK government investment in coastal towns.


My select committee took evidence from organisations that represent social care. The focus was the shortfall between patients being discharged from hospital too soon and into an environment which is not conducive to their recovery. The Scottish system, although not perfect, was highlighted as superior to the current system in England. I attended the all party group on Autism and shall be encouraging the Scottish Prison Service to examine the facility at Feltham prison which is leading the way in supporting prisoners on the autistic spectrum. I attended a drop in for BT broadband followed by an internal SNP constitution meeting and met with colleagues from Holyrood.


I attended the all party group on CND which had a particular focus on the upcoming vote to renew Trident. There is very strong cross party support to vote against such a plan but I suspect the internal arguments within the Labour Party will stop them uniting behind a no vote as it would be seen as uniting behind Jeremy Corbyn. Prime Ministers Questions was all about David Cameron. This was his last, following his declared resignation, and he was a man with the weight of the world lifted off his shoulders. He laughed and joked but we should never forget his legacy is one of austerity and increased food banks. I attended and spoke in the debate on the Chilcot enquiry. A massive report detailing the failures of the first Iraq war from which sadly we have learned no lessons.


I had meetings with the SNP defence team in preparation for the Trident debate on Monday. I have my name on the list to speak but it shall be massively oversubscribed so I shall also be writing to the speakers office to make my case to speak. I was in the members tea room when the new prime minister Teresa May was handing out her cabinet jobs. It was a very interesting experience but I shall keep it for my memoirs. Needless to say there were lots of Boris impersonations and Top Gear jokes (May and Hammond).


I spent in Inverclyde carrying out constituency visits and business surgeries.