Tommy Sheppard is used to being busy in July. There are always acts to book, venues to prepare, tickets to sell. Sheppard still bears traces of his life as impresario at the Stand Comedy Club – polka dot tie, unkempt thatch of spiky hair – but nowadays it is the business of Parliament, not the upcoming Edinburgh Fringe, that has him run ragged.
Read the full article in the National
Because, of course, Westminster, and everything it stands for, is essentially their worst nightmare. And yet here they are now, part of it. What’s it like, I ask Tommy Sheppard, the new member for Edinburgh East, being in the belly of the beast?
Read the full article on the SNP 56 in the Observer
"What happened yesterday was the most monstrous assault on our welfare state, which attacked the poorest in society." Tommy Sheppard (9th July 2015)
Watch Tommy's full appearance on his first Question Time
One was a finalist on MasterChef, another is a breast cancer nurse and a third has done three tours of duty in Afghanistan.
The six new MPs the BBC have been following over the past two months have come from all walks of life and their reflections on life at Westminster have been fascinating...
Tommy Sheppard has been misquoted three times in two parliaments in one week. Here he sets the record straight...
Having been misquoted by the Prime Minister and the opposition front bench on the same day I’m not sure whether to feel victimised or honoured. So let me start by being very clear. I fully support devolving all control over raising and spending public finances to Scotland. Full fiscal autonomy (FFA), as some call it, would allow Scotland’s government to operate like most other devolved legislatures in the modern world.
The former Labour deputy general secretary, turned SNP MP, talks to CommonSpace about life at Westminster Tommy Sheppard is no stranger to stand up.
He is, after all, the owner of the renowned Stand Comedy Club venues and also sits on the board of directors of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. However, since parliament officially opened last week, the stand up routines performed in the chamber of the House of Commons have left the newly-elected MP baffled.
One of the more pleasing aspects of the new intake of SNP MPs at Westminster is that so many of them come from varied backgrounds, and nearly all of them have had a career or life outside of politics as well as some experience of public service.
Tommy Sheppard is an ideal example of a new politically aware member with a hinterland. The Northern Ireland-born graduate of Aberdeen University is the founder of The Stand comedy club chain, which is also now in its fourth year of running one of the largest operations of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He also failed to win TV’s Masterchef in 1996, though he was a Scottish area finalist.
I asked the Minister if the government would require the Electoral Commission to disclose donations for parties in Northern Ireland from before 2015. This follows allegations of dark money from the Constitutional Research Council, which is linked to the Scottish Tories, to the DUP. As usual, no straight answer.