Westminster diary wb 17th October


It is always nice to bump into constituents while in Westminster. This week I had a quick chat about medical cannabis. If any of my constituents are paying a private prescription for medical cannabis, then please get in touch with me as I am happy to fight your cause for funding. I had a chat with a representative of the Union for Maritime Professionals regarding the re-skilling and transition of employees to avoid the outcome that P&O forced on almost 800 seafarers when their jobs were taken from them and were then replaced with people who are being paid less and working in poorer conditions. As a seafaring nation we should take pride in our seafarers and protect their employment rights and career progression.

I was on the order paper for questions to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. I sought clarification regarding the amount of levelling up funding still to be allocated and when we would know if Inverclyde’s bid has been successful? I didn’t get a straight answer and the accepted timeline of the ‘end of November’ has now become ‘before Christmas’. There was an Urgent Question on the replacement of the Chancellor. A perfectly valid question seeing as the last one lasted 38 days. Liz Truss sent Penny Mordaunt to answer, and she spent the time saying it was a waste of time to even answer the question and that the Prime Minister was engaged elsewhere in more important business. The new chancellor then came to the house accompanied by the Prime Minister! He assured us that he was pursuing compassionate Conservative policies. An oxymoron if ever there was one. In the evening I attended an event at Dover House to lend my support to the Poppy Scotland launch.


My select committee took evidence in private regarding international treaties.

A suspicious package resulted in the evacuation of my office. I met with a healthcare provider to discuss their kidney function testing kits. We are hoping to establish a pilot programme to test their effectiveness in early diagnosis of kidney disease.


I heard one side of the Biomass argument from those that support the Drax powers stations actions as recently highlighted in a Panorama documentary. At PMQ the backbenches were very quiet and stony faced. The PM spent a lot of time blaming the opposition for not solving problems that they have no power to solve. This rather disjointed approach continued and multiple times the PM said she has delivered on the energy price cap, but she hasn’t. Her plan was for 2 years it’s now planned to end in April. To cheer myself up I went for my flu jag before engaging with the Betting and Gaming Council at a ‘Safe Gambling’ event. My issues with them is they don’t want a levy on the industry and they don’t want to ban advertising on football shirts or anywhere else. And they are funded by the gambling industry. The Secretary of State for the Home Office resigned while I was being briefed by the other side of the biomass argument, those that don’t agree with the actions Drax are taking. Things went from bad to worse for the U.K. government when tempers flared during votes in the fracking bill. Very unparliamentary language was heard and there are reports of physical intimidation being used to encourage Conservative MPs to vote with their party. This, amidst a lot of confusion around whether it was a three-line whip for them or not. The government chief whip resigned (or maybe didn’t). Meanwhile the man responsible for a lot of this chaos is reported to be on holiday in the Caribbean.


I was in the house for questions to DCMS. I wasn’t taken. I attended a briefing on Evusheld, at the request of a number of my constituents that have compromised immune systems and require to shield. The long and short of it is that the drug is available in the U.K. and has been deemed suitable by the MHRA but not by NICE. The difference being that MHRA say it isn’t effective, but NICE won’t say it is cost effective. Like an increasing number of drugs of you can afford it you can buy it privately, if you can’t afford it then you go without. Then as I was preparing for my second select committee session of the week, the Prime Minister went and resigned. When you build your career as an opportunist on shifting sands then don’t be surprised when it all comes tumbling down.


I had meetings with Inverclyde Council CEO Louise Long and in the afternoon my office team along with SNP councillors received training on Naloxone administration from the Scottish Drugs Forum.