February Newsletter - text only version

Published date : 08 February, 2022

Richard Thomson MP

Gordon Parliamentary Newsletter

February 2022


A message from Richard Thomson MP

Hello and welcome to my February Parliamentary report, which showcases a range of my activities throughout January as your MP for Gordon.

Rising energy prices are causing concern for us all, as is the general rise in the cost of living. Meanwhile, the 'Partygate' scandal continues to dog the UK Government, while the farming community looks set to find itself on the end of a frankly daft rule change about the use of 'red diesel' at the hands of the Chancellor.

With the recent storms, I also want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the services and the volunteers that supported our communities.

If my team or I can assist you in any way, please call 020 3545 2236 or email [email protected] to get in touch.


Richard Thomson


In Westminster

11th January: Downing Street Parties

The UK Government continues to be paralysed by 'Partygate' and the evident rule-breaking that was taking place amongst the Prime Minister and some of his closest aides. People made enormous sacrifices during the pandemic to keep others safe and to play by the rules, so to find that the Prime Minister didn't is galling. Honesty and integrity matter in politics - that's why I'm clear that the Prime Minister must resign.

Watch my speech here:

Listen to my radio interview here:

"I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if there was more information to come... There will almost certainly be more to come and none of it good" - Richard Thomson MP


31st January: Sue Gray Report ‘Update’

My postbag and inbox have been filled with correspondence from constituents expressing their fury at the Prime Minister's behaviour. In response, the Prime Minister has promised changes to the way that Number 10 bureaucracy works. However, it's not a new 'Office of the Prime Minister' that we need - it's a new Prime Minister in office.

“The Prime Minister said in his statement, “sorry for the things we…did not get right” and, “sorry for the way this…has been handled”, which is a generic non-apology that will mean absolutely nothing to anyone who heard it. What I and millions of others want to hear is: apart from getting caught out in all of this, what is the Prime Minister personally sorry and genuinely regretful for in his own conduct?”

Watch here:


20th January: Lawfare and UK Court Systems

I took part last month in a cross-party debate on 'lawfare' - a term which describes the misuse of the legal system in order to keep information which might be damaging to the reputation of companies and/or powerful individuals out of the public sphere. This happens by means of vexatious legal actions or even the threat of legal action against journalists, elected representatives and members of the public, so as to intimidate and silence, as well as swamp individuals with unaffordable legal costs.    

The best courts are the ones that serve the population best in terms of accessibility, fairness of process, transparency, consistency and the justice of the outcome. That is the sort of legal system we should be looking to have, rather than simply having the best legal system that money can buy... It is important that that power, influence and passage of wealth should be scrutinised and held to account.”

Read my full contribution here:


The Finance Bill: Committee Stages

In my role as the SNP's Shadow Financial Secretary, I took part in detailed scrutiny in committee of the Finance Bill. Read my full contributions here:

05/01/22 Third Sitting

  • Raised concerns about the complexity of the rules for the planned residential property developer tax and the resulting potential for confusion, tax avoidance and evasion.
  • Made the case for increased incentives to promote the uptake of alternatively fuelled vehicles.

05/01/22 Fourth Sitting

  • Requested that the Government assess the impact and volume of gambling and its wider impact on public health. Gambling is not 'harmless fun' for everyone and the social responsibilities of those making money from gambling services need to be considered when making policy.

11/01/22 Fifth Sitting

  • Advocated mandating a full assessment of the 'tax gap' between revenues raised and revenues collected between the UK and other comparator economies.
  • Supported measures to assess the behavioural impact on consumers and manufacturers of vehicle emission certification so as to inform future policymaking.
  • Moved measures to ensure that the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has the capacity to properly assess fairness and consistency in the tax system, and to ensure that those in its leadership team are drawn from the widest possible range of backgrounds.




Early Day Motion: ANM Group Ltd

ANM Group 150th anniversary – EDM 814 tabled 5 January 2022

"That this House notes that 2022 sees the 150th anniversary of the foundation of what is now the ANM Group Limited co-operative; recognises that North-east Scotland has been an area where, for centuries, livestock rearing and marketing has been a source of pride, prestige and considerable financial investment; acknowledges Aberdeen and Northern Marts generated a hive of activity where farmers, dealers, agricultural workers and families came together to do business and socialise; and congratulates ANM Group for the development of modern auction centres, the pioneering of electronic and video auctions, diversification into non-agricultural auctions and the move into the high-quality catering and hospitality market which are examples of the innovative approach which has made ANM Group a highly-successful farmer-owned business."

Read more:


Written Questions

Seed Potatoes Scotland

Asked 4th January: Question for Scotland Office

“Scotland grows 75% of the UKs seed potatoes - a crop which our farmers have traditionally been able to export to lucrative European markets. However, post-Brexit, farmers have been virtually unable to export their crop to the EU and Northern Ireland. I asked the Scottish Secretary what assessment his department has made of the impact of trade barriers between Northern Ireland and GB which now exist as a result of Brexit.”


EDMs I signed this month

  • Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – EDM 864 tabled 18/1/22
  • War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Payments – EDM 860 tabled 18/1/22
  • Human Rights in Bahrain – EDM 835 tabled 11/1/22
  • Low carbon vehicles and construction work – EDM 862 tabled 18/1/22

Read more of my contributions here:


Across the Constituency

Rising energy prices causing utility bill increases

I have received many letters and emails from constituents this month, deeply concerned by utility bill increases following the energy price cap changes and the next increase in April. This cost of living crisis falls directly at the door of the the UK Government. Although the Scottish Government can help mitigate these costs where it can, only the UK Government has the economic powers to properly get a grip on it. I’ve written to the UK Energy Minister and the Chancellor to highlight concerns and demand action to alleviate the impact of these price increases for those who are struggling financially.


Farmers set to receive payments from LFASS

I welcome the Scottish Government restoring the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme payments to 100%. Farmers and producers have faced increased fuel and fertiliser costs this past year, while Brexit has also hit the community hard. This support will benefit more than 9,000 farmers.


Post Office Developments in Gordon

Dyce Post Office

Good news came this month when a proposal to relocate the Post Office in Dyce to the former Clydesdale Bank building was approved. The move will see an increase in the operating hours with the services being offered as part of a local convenience store.

Read more:

Inverurie Post Office

It was announced last month that the Inverurie Post Office branch on West High Street would be closing from January 31, following the resignation of the postmaster.

Even though there is a second Post Office branch on Highclere Way, this does not offer a full range of services. I have been in close contact with the Post Office to impress upon them the importance of having a town centre service. I hope to be able to report positive news soon.

Read more:


Red diesel use changes threaten charity tractor events

I wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking the Government to reconsider planned rule changes by HMRC that would outlaw the use of 'red' diesel for ploughing matches and charity tractor runs in favour of higher taxed 'white' diesel. Read more:

I spoke on STV News about this ill-conceived move by the Government. I also raised the matter on the floor of the House of Commons to call for a full debate to be held on this matter. Read more:


Commitment to WASPI Women

All-Party WASPI submission to Ombudsman

have welcomed the formal submission by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality for Women to the Parliamentary Health and Service Ombudsman. It is my hope this submission to the second stage of the Ombudsman investigation will highlight the significant hardship this long-standing injustice has caused those women affected. Read more:

Timeline of events in the last year:


In the News…

Common humanity should be a focus for the year ahead – Grampian Online 6/1/22 –

Scots MPs call for seed potatoes to be freed from Brexit red tape – The Scottish Farmer 20/1/22 –

North-east schools encouraged to get involved with space project – Grampian Online 19/1/22 -


Thank you,

Richard Thomson MP


Email – [email protected]

Website –

Call – 020 3545 2236

Address - Unit F6 Enterprise Centre, Aberdeen Energy Park, Exploration Drive, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, AB23 8GX

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