Disclaimer

I am not currently an MP, as Parliament has been dissolved until after the General Election. If you wish to contact Tommy you can do so on tommysheppardsnp@gmail.com

News & Articles

Some published articles and blog posts from Tommy Sheppard MP

As things develop in Westminster, one of the things Tommy and his staff team are keen to do is make Parliament as transparent as possible. As such, we will be writing a series of short articles about various aspects of the workings of Westminster.

The Wonder of PMQs

The Wonder of PMQs

So every Wednesday, at 12pm sharp, David Cameron arrives in the chamber for the event that is Prime Minister's Questions (or PMQs). The weekly session has been described as a pantomime, charade and worse.  For those who have tried to sit through it, it's not always clear how the event is meant to work and why they are shouting all the time.

So here I will try to explain, if not exactly why it is like it is, at least how it is meant to work.

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The Stages of Legislation

The Stages of Legislation

This week in the House of Commons there were two important debates on the 3rd Readings of bills: The Scotland Bill and the Trade Union Bill. A few people have asked what is meant by 3rd Reading and what happens next.

Here I'll try to provide a straightforward guide to how laws are made at Westminster.

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Early Day Motions

Early Day Motions

These are motions that any MP can submit to the house for debate. In reality very few are actually debated, but the process allows MPs to officially register their stance on a particular subject. MPs from across all parties have registered 269 EDMs already, and parliament has only been recalled for about six weeks at the time of writing. It is a way that MPs can publically register their objections to, or support, for various causes, laws or events whilst avoiding some of the more bureaucratic parliamentary protocols, and without having to be approved or chosen – as they often are for things like oral questions or making speeches in a debate.

Subjects vary wildly, from the very specific such as 159 which welcomed the unveiling of the sculpture ‘Steel Man’ at Ravenscraig, paying tribute to steelworkers and trade unionists, to the far reaching such as 98 on the disproportionate cost of prepayment meters which are incurred mainly by poorer households. Tommy has signed 28 so far, including these two. You can see which ones he, and any other member, has signed here:

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All-Party Parliamentary Groups

All-Party Parliamentary Groups

You might have heard that Tommy has been elected Vice-Chair of the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). This is fantastic news for both Tommy and for the people of Palestine but you might be wondering what it means. As things develop in Westminster, one of the things Tommy and his staff team are keen to do is make Parliament as transparent as possible. As such, we will be writing a series of short articles about various aspects of the workings of Westminster. Given Tommy’s recent appointment, it seems appropriate to start with APPGs!

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Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
30 March 2017
Tommy's Blog
Articles
Media
There have been some daft arguments put against allowing people in Scotland to have a choice about the future of their country. You have no mandate Ruth Davidson tells Nicola Sturgeon. Really? Did the SNP not mention this in their manifesto for the Scottish Parliament election last year? Let’s check. Maybe it’s buried away somewhere. No wait. Page 24 has a whole section on a second referendum. It...
Tommy Sheppard
11 March 2017
Tommy's Blog
I’ve been denounced – again! This time I appear to have incurred the wrath of the Catholic Church in Scotland’s hierarchy. A front page report in yesterday’s Scottish Catholic Observer claims I have a “plan” to outlaw Catholic schools and that my views are “chillingly intolerant”. Sadly due to the deterioration of Scottish journalism once great newspapers like The Scotsman have simply rehashed the...
Tommy Sheppard
19 February 2017
Tommy's Blog
Policy
The hills around Jerusalem were drenched in sun the last time I was here. It brought out their significance and history. This week, though, the Holy Land has been visited by a Scottish winter. As I peer through the steamed up windows of our VW Transporter, it’s decidedly dreich out there. I’m here on a parliamentary delegation to see if the political mood matches the weather. The trip is organised...
Tommy Sheppard
30 January 2017
Tommy's Blog
Policy
I write from the train, speeding towards London to begin another week traipsing the corridors of impotence. This week, as many, will be wall to wall Brexit as we debate the terms on which we should be leaving the EU, and try to protect Scotland’s position amid the chaos. But something else is dominating the international agenda and consumes the imagination of every person who dares hope for a bett...
Tommy Sheppard
26 January 2017
Tommy's Blog
Policy
You’ll not be surprised to hear that ever since the UK voted to leave the European Union, I have been receiving lots of letters and emails from constituents raising their concerns. While there have been a couple of requests asking me to respect the UK wide result and vote to trigger article 50, the vast majority have asked me to do all I can to protect Scotland’s place in Europe. That’s not a surp...