Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

April Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

April Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

It is incredible how much can change in a month in the world of politics.  On the 13th March the UK Government was visibly shocked when Nicola Sturgeon demanded that people in Scotland be allowed to choose whether they wanted to live under a Tory Brexit deal or decide things for themselves. As a result, Theresa May delayed the serving of Article 50 by a fortnight and it took a full 72 hours to get any response from the UK Government. When it came, the response of “now is not the time” was hardly impressive. No-one is arguing that now is the time anyway!  The Scottish Government are talking about 18-24 months when the Brexit deal is done but before it is too late to take a different path.  I used my Evening News column to put forward the case for having a choice and making it clear there is a cast iron mandate to consult the people, read it here.

This month Westminster was the target of the criminal acts of a loner who decided to attack innocent people going about their daily lives on Westminster Bridge before attempting to enter the parliamentary estate and killing PC Keith Palmer.  I had just left the estate and my staff were all in Edinburgh but I want to thank all those who sent kind messages on the day.  My thoughts remain with those who have been injured and the friends and families of those who lost their lives.

Last week, following Theresa May's statement on the triggering of Article 50, I asked the Prime Minister to name one suggestion or request from the Scottish Government regarding Brexit which she had taken on board. Just one. You can see the answer here. So much for an agreed UK approach. The truth is Theresa May is doing what's best for the Tory party, not what's best for either the UK or Scotland.

I sat on the delegated legislative committee on repairs to Buckingham Palace. It took 13 minutes to agree £360 million funding without any debate in the chamber (obviously I voted against it). Yet another example of our wonderful democracy.

It seems ages ago but Philip Hammond produced his first budget at the start of the month only to do a U-turn within hours on National Insurance increases for the self-employed. The fact that he now has a two billion pound hole in his budget and no-one cares, tells you all you need to know about the unreal nature of politics at the moment. After all, why get worked up about two billion when we’re all about to go over an economic cliff edge called Brexit.

One U-turn the Tories refuse to make is to make things right for women born in the 1950s who are now hoping to retire – most of whom are now having their retirement date pushed back despite promises. WASPI (Women against State Pension Inequality) lobbied parliament this month and the SNP group held a rally with them including a contingent from Edinburgh East. We will continue to campaign for compensation for these women. To get involved in the local group contact Andrea at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Westminster's All Party Group on Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is holding an inquiry into access to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people with MND. They want to gather evidence of the experiences of as many people with MND as possible to help improve the system. If you, or someone you know, is able to help please take part in their survey. You've got until 9th April. For further information about the APPG’s inquiry, please see here.

I also continue to give me support to a number of campaigns and organisations who visit Westminster to talk to MPs about their cause.  I was delighted to support Linda Robson and Marie Curie UK with the 2017 Daffodil appeal

Grenfell House and Fire Safety in Tower Blocks
April Newsletter - Constituency Business
 

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

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...