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.

Scrap the Cap Demo at Westminster

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There was a big turnout from SNP MPs to support Royal College of Nursing #scrapthecap demo at Westminster.

And great to see Geoff who had made the journey from Edinburgh East alongside other RCN members from across the UK.

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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
13 September 2019
Tommys Blog
Media
At two minutes past ten on Wednesday morning I was sitting in court number one just behind St Giles on the Royal Mile. A minute later Lord Carloway announced the unanimous decision by the appeal court judges that the British government had acted illegally in proroguing parliament.  There was an audible intake of breath as the decision hit.I was pleased to join my colleague Joanna Cherry QC, and ot...
Tommy Sheppard
09 September 2019
Tommys Blog
My work for you in Westminster
I've had a few emails recently from people who are asking about the SNP position regarding a general election.While I recorded some video updates last week, one of the limitations of social media is that it mitigates against context and nuance, so it is not always an adequate medium to communicate one's ideas. Also, while the instant nature of social media is useful it is limited in a situation li...
Tommy Sheppard
26 August 2019
Tommys Blog
Media
And so the parliamentary summer recess draws to a close. This week Westminster opposition parties meet to plan their autumn attack. The week after, battle commences in the palace by the Thames. The parliament and the premier, each with a death wish on each other. The question: who will get the killer blow in first?What is clear is that a General Election is coming. Either the government will colla...
Tommy Sheppard
19 August 2019
Tommys Blog
Media
Dearie me, what’s going on in the People’s Party? First, shadow chancellor John McDonnell states that a Westminster Labour government wouldn’t block a request from the Scottish Parliament to hold an independence referendum. He says it twice just in case anyone thinks the first time was a mistake. And this week Jeremy Corbyn says it again to be sure.Now, in one sense, it’s an unremarkable statement...
Tommy Sheppard
18 July 2019
Tommys Blog
Media

The wait is nearly over. By next week the Tory party will have a new leader. And then they will foist him on the country at large. With most of the votes cast it seems that the clown prince is unstoppable. Barring a miracle Boris Johnson will be our next Prime Minister.

And then what?