Summer Surgeries

'I always welcome the summer recess as a chance to spend much more time in the constituency. As well as my regular 'first Saturday in the Month' surgeries in Glenrothes and Leven I’m holding surgeries in around 20 different locations before the end of August. Many of these are being held in local cafes or tea rooms which give a more relaxed setting which some constituents prefer – as well as helping to support local businesses. I’m grateful to Dave’s Diner in Cardenden, Ness Café in Kinglassie, and all the other places that have made us so welcome on previous visits.

Shipyards Let Down – Again

There was another blow recently for shipyard workers at Rosyth and elsewhere when the UK Government stopped its procurement process for the new Type 31e Frigate. The SNP’s Defence team at Westminster, including West Fife MP Douglas Chapman, warned some time ago that the Defence Procurement budget was unlikely to be enough to pay for all the Government’s promises, and sadly they’ve been proved right.

Standing Up For Scotland

The SNP were the only party in Scotland standing up for Scotland’s interests when the Trade and Customs Bills were debated recently in parliament. These Bills could significantly affect the powers of the Scottish Parliament and other devolved parliaments after Brexit. The SNP argued that the devolved nations should have a voice in any future trade negotiations. This would, for example, protect Scotland from being taken into a trade deal that gave American firms the right to take over parts of our NHS. There wasn’t a single Tory, Labour or Lib Dem MP who voted to support us.

Later the same evening we had a “crunch” vote on avoiding a “cliff-edge” Brexit that could cost 80,000 jobs in Scotland. Theresa May had let it be known that if she lost this vote she would collapse the Government and call a General Election. Despite this, a dozen Tories voted against her. Luckily for the Tories they found four Labour MPs to vote to keep Mrs May in office. Their votes allowed her to squeak home. To date, none of the Labour MPs has been disciplined for keeping the Tories in power.

Free and Fair?

The bedrock of our democracy is that elections must be “free and fair”. Parliament has passed laws to try and achieve this. These laws include, for example, restrictions on who is allowed to donate to campaigns and on how much each campaign organisation is allowed to spend. Recently the Electoral Commission have ruled that the main Vote Leave organisation acted illegally in what is possibly the biggest ever breach of campaign spending limits. and BeLeave, two other key parts of the Leave campaign, also broke the law.

Vote Leave’s campaign committee included nine current or recent ministers in Theresa May’s cabinet, including the new Brexit secretary. The Tories must be forced to come clean over how much they knew about their campaign’s illegality'.