Westminster diary w/b 30th September


Today I caught up with representatives of Link Housing to discuss the ongoing issue over the construction of houses on the old Ravenscraig site. There has been a lot of speculation and further clarification is being sought regarding the condition of the land before any housing is constructed. As I was flying into London at 19:15 it was already pitch black and I could not help but thinking that this could be the start of a long dark winter of discontent.


The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee held a closed door meeting to discuss our pending reports and future programme. Trying to develop a future programme in these times is like trying to nail a blancmange to a wall. I attended a meeting of elected members where we had an extremely intense conversation and grave concerns were expressed around Brexit possibilities. It was played out to a suitable backdrop of thunder, lightning and rain thrashing against the windows of a wood panelled room within a faux gothic stone crumbling building. It felt very much like the 31st of October had arrived and Halloween was already upon us. I attended an urgent question on the situation in the Yemen. The UK Government still can’t acknowledge that the UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia Makes us culpable in the destruction and heartache we are witnessing.


PMQ was a knock about affair with Dominic Raab and Dianne Abbott filling the roles of Punch and Judy. The Prime Minister obviously believes it is more important to attend the Conservative and Unionist party conference than attend the House of Commons and be held to account for the shambolic process that is damaging and will continue to damage Scotland as we are pulled out of the EU against the wishes of the Scottish electorate. It was good to hear the father of the house (Ken Clark) chastise the Prime Minister and his unwillingness to work with the UK Parliament. I intervened in the domestic abuse bill to highlight the need to explicitly include sexual abuse in the bill so victims can receive the help and support required. Business was collapsing early and so I grabbed the 17:05 flight home.


I started with constituency work in my office and then attended the extremely busy jobs fair in the town hall. It was good to see Diode Incorporated represented and hear how things are progressing since they bought Texas Instruments. Tens of millions of pounds have been invested and more people are being recruited. Most of the afternoon was taken up by constituency cases including housing, welfare, travel and health issues.


In the morning I had meetings with council officers and Network rail. The afternoon consisted of surgeries in Greenock and Kilmacolm.