Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

Parliamentary Business - July 2017

Parliamentary Business - July 2017

Finally, it’s summer recess and I get to spend some time in the constituency. I’m sure you all know about my love affair with the Fringe. I was delighted to be able to help the Fringe celebrate its 70th year with a reception in Speaker’s House at the start of July after their original event had to be cancelled due to the election! I’m looking forward to it all starting in a few days time. 

Westminster had a very end of term feel about it this month with the Government seeming to be filling up time to avoid having to try and pass any actual legislation. Indeed, we even had a debate about how much legislation we should be passing in Private Members Bills (read my response here).

We do now have a first draft of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. There are only 19 clauses in it but within it is section 11 .2 (4A) - I quote “An Act of the Scottish Parliament cannot modify, or confer power by subordinate legislation to modify, retained EU law”. The Westminster Government on the other hand will be given absolute power to change not only the stuff that comes back to it, but also to change the laws of the devolved legislatures where it feels it needs to. You can read my full thoughts on this in my Evening News Column from earlier in the month.

There was a debate this month on Palestine and Israel. I focused my contribution on what is happening to democratic debate and expression inside the state of Israel. You can read my contribution and the Minister’s response here or watch my speech here.  I was delighted to receive assurances from Minister Alistair Burt that he will continue to work with Israeli organisations working for peace in the region and won’t be told who he should speak to when it comes to those who represent valued, trusted and moderate opinion in other states.

This month I asked my first questions as the SNP Spokesperson on the Scotland Office. I’m already looking forward to facing Mundell every 6 weeks – you can watch our first clash here. As you’ll see he was very welcoming to me in my post. I also had my usual Cabinet Office Questions (though this month I took advantage of the new HoC rules and left the tie off!) – watch it here.

In my role as Spokesperson on the House of Lords, I have written to the Head of Security to suggest that our passes should be used to clock in and clock out of parliament. This would ensure the authorities know who is on the estate at any time which would help with security. It would also have the added bonus of making all parliamentarians more accountable. Lords shouldn’t be allowed to claim £300 a day simply for entering the building. You can read an article about it in the Guardian.   

This month I was pleased to be able to lend my support to a number of campaigns in Westminster that constituents have written to me about. They include a new parliamentary campaign to boost research into brain tumours, Action on Hearing Loss, the British Red Cross campaign for asylum seeker rights, the Anthony Nolan Trust and the National Autistic Society's Too Much Information campaign to make public spaces accessible. 

Thomas Muir Lecture - Thursday 24th August
Constituency Business - July 2017
 

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
22 September 2017
Tommy's Blog
I was delighted to attend the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Westminster launch of a new report on the illegal ivory trade across Europe, (Ivory seizures in Europe, 2006-2015), which found that the European Union is still a destination for illegal ivory, a major transit route between countries and a key exporter of antique ivory to South East Asian markets.I fully support the campaig...
Tommy Sheppard
10 September 2017
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Workings of Westminster

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.

Tommy Sheppard
06 September 2017
My work for you in Edinburgh East
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I was delighted to be invited, for the second year running, to the Royal High Primary to join the P7s for a discussion as part of their topic 'Who Represents Us?'.

We had a great discussion about the role of an MP as part of their democracy project.

Tommy Sheppard
04 September 2017
My work for you in Edinburgh East
Tommy's Blog
Welcome to my August Newsletter.  Parliament has been in recess for the past month so this newsletter will focus on my work in Edinburgh East. Though of course, politics continues even when the Westminster parliament isn't sitting. And the mess that is Brexit continues unabated. Next week I head back to Westminster where we'll have the first vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill. Let's see if Corbyn and ...
Tommy Sheppard
27 August 2017
Tommy's Blog

I had the great pleasure of giving the Thomas Muir lecture last week, which you can now watch thanks to the folks at Bella. In the end it came out a bit differently to the written version.