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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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
18 January 2018
Tommy's Blog
My work for you in Westminster
This week Parliament was back debating the EU Withdrawal Bill as it entered the Report stage in the House of Commons. Before I update you on those debates, I want to let you know about a report the Scottish Government have published.On Monday the Scottish Government released its second paper on the potential implications of Brexit on Scotland and the options available to us.  Scotland’s Place in E...
Tommy Sheppard
14 December 2017
Tommy's Blog
Well we finally have it. The coalition were defeated in the House of Commons last night. Despite their attempts to cajole and bully their backbenchers, 11 Tories rebelled and Amendment 7 passed by just 4 votes.  And while Ministers are now jumping to say that it isn’t significant, that it’s only one vote and that Brexit is on track their faces told a very different story in the Chamber.This is imp...
Tommy Sheppard
11 December 2017
Tommy's Blog
It’s difficult to know where to start on last week’s Brexit developments. On Monday the Prime Minister was left scrabbling around after the DUP flexed their muscles and refused to agree the deal with the EU that would enable to them to move on to Phase 2 of negotiations.By the end of the week the deal was done and a joint statement was issued from the UK Government and negotiators from the Europea...
Tommy Sheppard
30 November 2017
My work for you in Edinburgh East
Tommy's Blog

I used my Evening News column this month to talk about fireworks following the extreme antisocial behaviour on bonfire night. I've also written to the Minister asking for the UK Government to toughen up licensing laws. And if they aren't willing to do that, devolve power over fireworks to the Scottish Parliament so they can act. Read the full article here.

 

Tommy Sheppard
30 November 2017
Tommy's Blog
My work for you in Westminster
The EU Withdrawal Bill entered its committee stage this month in the House of Commons.  As it is a constitutional bill it is considered by a committee of the whole house – in other words all MPs consider it in the main chamber. While hundreds of amendments were tabled, only a few are selected for a vote each day. There will be eight days of debate in total, three of which took place in November. O...