Well, it's good to be back. After a snap general election that wasn’t needed and that nobody wanted, I am delighted to have been returned to Westminster as MP for Edinburgh East. Thanks to all those who supported me and came out to cast their vote on what must 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 and I don’t plan to change that now. I’m here to speak up for the people in Edinburgh East and to have the voice of our communities heard in Westminster.
I’m pleased to say that my Portobello Office is now a drop off point for the Edinburgh Back to School Bank. If you can help we'd be delighted to receive school clothing for pupils aged 4-18. They regularly list items they are short of their Facebook page but are always short of girls black leggings - all sizes but especially ages 9-10 10-11 11-12 and small ladies and black jumpers, cardigans and sweatshirts of all sizes from age 5 to 15. Thanks in advance.
The Grenfell disaster was shocking and its ramifications will continue to be felt in the months and years ahead. Several people have been in touch concerned about safety in high rise buildings in Edinburgh. I attended a briefing with the council immediately after the event and am reassured that they have taken appropriate action in terms of safety tests on buildings. You can read more about the initial response (including who to contact if you are concerned about your building) here and about the council briefing here.
I always enjoy being able to visit some of the summer fairs that take place across the constituency. Straight after the election I was pleased to join in the fun at Leith Gala Day - a great day out.
I was very happy to see that Council planners made the right choice and refused plans to build a six storey student block next to Duddingston Mill. I joined local residents in objecting to this, not only because of the impact on listed buildings but because the site is nowhere near a university. We should be building family homes, not tiny bedsits which will be let to students at inflated rents.
Four weeks ago I was worried about writing this column on the eve of the last major parliamentary debate on Brexit. Anything could have happened, rendering my speculation obsolete by the time you read it. I shouldn’t have fretted. Anything could have happened but nothing did.
Here I am again. Groundhog day. It’s Tuesday. There’s a big debate tomorrow.
Tuesday. Another day spent discussing Brexit. Another day of my life I’m not getting back.
We are no further forward. As the clock ticks down to exit it’s only fair to ask: What the hell is Theresa May playing at?
Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party