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
21 July 2017
Tommy's Blog
Media
OK, sorry about this, but it’s Brexit again this month. Don’t blame me – I voted remain.Remember the Great Repeal Bill David Davis promised last year. Well, it’s arrived, Except it’s now called the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. I’ve no idea why withdrawal is in brackets, maybe it’s not going to happen. It’s not that great either – just nineteen clauses, half of which are legalistic gobbledygoo...
Tommy Sheppard
29 June 2017
Tommy's Blog
I am delighted to have been returned to Westminster as MP for Edinburgh East following the snap election on 8th June. Thanks to all those who supported me and came out to cast their vote on what has to have been one of the wettest days of the summer so far! I pledge to help everyone, no matter who they voted for or what their political persuasion - it’s what I’ve been doing for the past two years ...
Tommy Sheppard
29 June 2017
Tommy's Blog
Media
Well, this is awkward. I had hoped to use my column this month to bring a digest of the Queen's Speech. This is where Her Majesty reads out the legislative programme of the government of the day. Only there isn't one. Well, there is, but it is so vacuous and devoid of content that there might as well not be.It’s surely bordering on abuse of the elderly to oblige a 91 year old woman to read this ru...
Tommy Sheppard
19 June 2017
Tommy's Blog
Media
So here's an article I wrote for the Sunday Herald reflecting on the general election result. It seems to have caused some excitement. The newspaper rather mischievously suggested this was me breaking ranks and of course the right wing press have been calling this an SNP split. It isn't. There's nothing I say here regarding a second Indy referendum that is inconsistent with the party's approach ov...
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 s...