Westminster diary w/b 12th September


I was on the order papers with a question to the Secretary of State for defence but unfortunately the last question taken was number 14 and I was question 15. So we are none the wiser regarding the safety audit at the atomic weapons establishment. A frustrating start to the week. Later I attended a briefing from legal and constitutional experts, Professor Bernard, Dr Hunt and Professor Anand Menonon, on the legal and political ramifications of the UK voting to leave the EU and how Scotland can protect its interests. I have to say it was a heavy session and I got the feeling that we are heading towards a “hard brexit” which will be painful for all involved.

I was pleased to see that the Panorama programme on Monday evening about the damage caused by Fixed Odds Betting Terminals got such good coverage. I missed it as I was in the chamber when it was broadcast but caught up with it the following day.


Started with a session from the Blue New Deal which focused on regeneration of the coastal communities in Scotland.

I had a meeting with David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, at Dover House and we discussed all things related to Inverclyde. He promised to pursue my concerns with the MOD regarding unexploded ordnance.

Attended the Scottish constitution group meeting and listened to Professor Philip Booth talk about federalism. It’s an interesting concept which may suit the rest of the U.K. once Scotland becomes independent.

Attended the all-party group meeting on Scottish sport and the internal SNP group meeting.


I met with representatives of Virgin Media to get an update on their installation in Kilmacolm. I took the opportunity to promote Inverkip as their next port of call. It is now on the agenda. Prime Ministers Question time must have served a purpose at some time but for the life of me I can’t see what purpose it serves now. The Prime Minister resorted to supercilious sneering at the leader of the opposition. Other countries must look at us and wonder what century we inhabit.

My select committee took evidence or to be more precise extracted evidence from Sir Jeremy Heywood (Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service) regarding the Chilcot report and the EU referendum. I had the pleasure of hosting a debate in Westminster House on the Universal Basic Income. As the first speaker I have no time constraint and therefore it is much more relaxing and I can take interventions at leisure. In the evening I did an interview for the internal Westminster magazine ‘House’.


Was a slow day as we are heading in to conference recess. I had a meeting with the Institute of Fundraisers regarding fundraising on the charitable sector. I quick meeting regarding media and another about boundary changes to electoral constituencies. I rush to the airport only to be delayed. The time spent hanging around is put to good use reading copious briefing papers and writing articles including this one.


Was spent back in the constituency office hosting a range of meetings with local businesses and individuals. I now have three weeks of recess and expect to be talking, and more importantly listening a lot of over that time.