'THE new session in Westminster began this week as did the discussion of the European Union Withdrawal Bill to determine how we leave the EU and Parliament’s role in that process. The Bill is not about the UK leaving the EU as that was settled by the Referendum and the triggering of Article 50 but how we manage the exit.

The Labour Party is clear that we respect the Referendum result, but in its current form, this Bill is a power grab by the Tory Government and puts huge and unaccountable power in the hands of Ministers. Labour will not stand by and let this happen.

Despite the Government’s warm words of reassurance, I remain sceptical. Last week I wrote to Scottish Secretary David Mundell to call on his Government to convene a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) as it had not met for seven months. This is the forum for devolved nations to contribute to the Brexit process. My pressure has paid off as UK Minister Damien Green has now confirmed he will reconvene the JMC in the Autumn. I am pressing him for a firm date.

Labour supports a clear presumption of devolution in the Brexit process. Powers must return directly from Brussels to Holyrood. We will not allow the Tory Government to undermine and introduce restrictions on devolution or support any erosion of workers and consumer rights or environmental protections. All of which are at risk with the current Bill.

Constituency matters

My surgeries are up and running and issues with DWP and Immigration are concerning. We will meet Government agencies to discuss these.

I also co-hosted Community Surgeries with MSP Alex Rowley where GP shortages were a common theme - particularly the number of people queuing for a GP appointment from 7am.  We will be following this up with the Health Board.

I also met ExxonMobil, owners of the Mossmorran Ethane Cracking plant, and made suggestions on how they could better engage with local communities. I am now awaiting with interest the publication of the Independent Air Quality Report and will assess next steps. 


Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn brought his campaign ‘For the Many’ to Fife and was overwhelmed with his welcome including the singing of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” at Kitty's! From the numbers queuing for “selfies” it was clear the audience liked what they heard. The Brexit theme continues next week as we welcome Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, to Fife as a guest speaker. You can register here to attend kirkcaldyandcowdenbeathregistration@hotmail.com

You can keep in touch with me on facebook and twitter or in person as we will be out campaigning, continuing our conversation ‘For the Many - Not the Few’.