News & Articles

Some published articles and blog posts from Tommy Sheppard MP

Subcategories from this category:

Contributions, Early Day Motions, Written Questions

December Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

December Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

Welcome to my December Newsletter.  The past month has been a busy one - at the start of November the High Court ruled that Parliament should have a debate and vote on triggering Article 50.  While Theresa May is appealing to the Supreme Court (we'll hear the outcome later this month) I do feel that parliament should have a say on this. It’s clear that a small majority voted for Brexit without knowing exactly how it might happen and having been lied to about what the consequences might be. There is a danger that some people may seize on this as a mandate for their own narrow interpretation of the UK's future relationship with other countries. To prevent that happening I believe parliament must be the body that decides on the Brexit plan.

There has been a focus this month on opposing the Tory government plans to cut ESA benefit both through an opposition day debate and through a back bench debate led by my SNP colleague Neil Gray. I spoke in both of these debates - in the first I felt it was important to share the experiences of two constituents whose lives would be devastated by the loss of £30 a week. You can watch this here. In the second I talked more generally about the broader impact of the cuts which you can see here.

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Debate on Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill

Tommy contributes to the debate on the Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill (29th November 2016).

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Debate on reductions to ESA and Universal Credit

Tommy contributes to the Backbench Debate on Reductions to Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit (17th November 2016).

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Debate on Autumn Statement distributional analysis, Universal Credit and ESA

Tommy contributes to the Opposition Day Debate on Autumn Statement distributional analysis, universal credit and employment and support allowance (16th Nov 2016).

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November Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

November Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

This month I presented Edinburgh East's WASPI petition to parliament alongside my SNP colleagues presenting petitions from across Scotland.  In the past month, there has rightly been a focus on refugees, the demolition of the 'Jungle' camp at Calais, the offensive in Mosul and the ongoing crisis in Aleppo.  I am concerned about some of the rhetoric we're seeing around refugees and want to take this opportunity to express the overwhelming view of my constituents: refugees are welcome here in Edinburgh and I'll do all I can to ensure that message is heard.  

During October the SNP had two opposition day debates.  One of these focused on reforming the House of Lords and in particular, the plans to decrease the number of elected MPs whilst increasing the number of un-elected members of the Lords - you can watch my speech from the debate here.  There is also a public consultation taking place on the proposed boundary changes (including to Edinburgh East) - find out more here. 

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Debate on House of Lords reform and the size of the House of Commons

Tommy contributes to the SNP Opposition Day Debate on House of Lords reform and the size of the House of Commons (19th October 2016)

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October Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

October Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

After the summer recess, Parliament began with a statement on the UK leaving the EU.  I had hoped that this would start to provide some answers as to what Brexit will actually mean but that proved elusive. After a few hours of bobbing up and down on the green seats I was able to ask about alternative arrangements for Scotland. It's my view that the appetite for a 2nd independence referendum will in large part depend on the actions of the British Government in the coming months. You watch a video of the question and the response I received here. 

The Government have approved the development of development of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. I first got involved in politics as a school boy campaigning against the nuclear reprocessing plant, Windscale, on the Cumbrian coast. I joined Friends of the Earth and became a passionate advocate for renewable energy. It's hard to believe that 40 years later I’m an MP and arguing exactly the same thing. You can watch my question on the Government's decision here. 

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Debate on Citizen's Convention on Democracy

Tommy contributes to the Westminster Hall Debate on Citizen's Convention on Democracy (20th July 2016).

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Debate on the Renewal of Trident

Tommy contributes to the Debate on the renewal of trident (18th July 2016).

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Automatic Voter Registration Debate

Tommy contributes to the Westminster Hall Debate on automatic voter registration (29th June 2016).

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EU Referendum Debate

Tommy contributes to the Opposition Day Debate on the EU Referendum (15th June 2016).

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BBC White Paper Debate

BBC White Paper Debate

Tommy contributes to the Opposition Day Debate on the BBC White Paper (8th June 2016).

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Debate on Anti Corruption Summit

Tommy contributes to the Westminster Hall Debate on the Anti Corruption Summit (3rd May 2016).

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Trade Union Bill

Tommy contributes to the Debate on the Lord's amendments to the Trade Union Bill (27th April 2016).

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Marwan Barghouthi could bring peace and independence to Palestine. But he's in jail

14 years ago today, the Palestinian MP Marwan Barghouthi was jailed.  This week I sponsored a parliamentary motion calling on the Israeli parliament to release him.   

I, and the other MPs who have signed, are calling for his release so that he can play a part in the process of reconciliation, unification and negotiation that will be needed before Palestine achieves its independence. Barghouthi, now 56, is still the candidate in the strongest position to win a presidential election to succeed Mahmoud Abbas, according to a recent poll by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research.   And precedents has been set - just look at South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was released from prison so he could take part in negotiations for majority rule, and India, where Gandhi and Nehru were released by the British so they could take part in negotiations for independence. 

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Local Government and Ethical Procurement

Tommy contributes to the Westminster Hall Debate on the Government's proposals to introduce updated guidelines on ethical procurement for local councils (15th March 2016).

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Tier 2 Visa Debate

Tommy contributes to the Westminster Hall Debate on the Government's plans to introduce a £35,000 earnings threshold on Tier 2 visas.

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Prevention of Incitement to Sexual Crime and Violence

Prevention of Incitement to Sexual Crime and Violence

Date tabled: 01.02.2016

Primary sponsor: Tommy Sheppard

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Education Maintenance Grants

Tommy contributes to the Opposition Day Debate on the Government's plans to scrap Educational Maintenance Grants for students in England.

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Electoral Integrity and Absent Voters

Tommy sums up for the SNP at the Westminster Hall debate on Electoral integrity and absent voters.

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Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
14 November 2016
Tommy's Blog
It’s just before 10am on Monday morning and according to the Virgin Trains website I’m hurtling towards London at 103mph. At this rate we might even be on time. It's been a while since I wrote a blog so thought I'd give you an insight into my week ahead. It’s looking like a busy week in the political equivalent of Hogwarts. As soon as I get in I’ve got a meeting with the Parliamentary Commiss...
Tommy Sheppard
26 June 2016
Tommy's Blog
I write this barely 60 hours after finding out that the people of the UK had voted to leave the European Union – and in truth I’m still trying to get my head around it.Shock was the first feeling. Sure, I knew that a leave vote was always on the cards, but somehow I never really believed it could happen. I thought in the final stages that enough had been done to save the day; that people would rej...
Tommy Sheppard
30 May 2016
Tommy's Blog
Four elections and a referendum: It’s been a helluva five years. With the new SNP Government now sworn in the party can at last move off a permanent war footing. It’s time to take stock, re-group and plan.And what a change in the political terrain has taken place. The Labour heartlands are no more. Once the party of the working class, Labour is now only capable of clinging on to constituencies tha...
Tommy Sheppard
09 May 2016
Tommy's Blog
No matter how you look at it, the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary election was a convincing win for the SNP. The party was seeking an historic third term after nine years in charge at Holyrood. It got it. With knobs on. More votes than ever before in a Scottish parliamentary election and a bigger share of the vote too.What’s not to like? Well, I guess the fact that even though it was its best ever per...
Tommy Sheppard
11 March 2016
Tommy's Blog
I will be voting to stay in the European Union in June. This is not in the belief that everything is in perfect working order, but in the hope that we can work with neighbouring countries to turn it into a much better institution than it is now.I hope that Scotland will soon be an independent country but to get things done, whether at home or abroad, we will have to work together with other countr...