Richard Thomson MP
Gordon Parliamentary Newsletter
A message from Richard Thomson MP
Hello and welcome to my July Parliamentary report. Here you will find details on the activities I’ve been involved in over the last month as your MP.
This newsletter was being put together around the time of Boris Johnson's long-overdue announcement that he was resigning as Prime Minister. As you will see, I continued to do all I could to maintain the pressure on him this month - I will have more to say on his resignation and its fall-out in next month's newsletter.
Other issues dominating the agenda at Westminster this month have been the cost of living and delays in issuing passports. It's also been a busy month in our constituency office dealing with local casework and concerns.
If my team or I can assist you in any way, please call 020 3545 2236 or email r[email protected] to get in touch.
Richard Thomson MP
6th June: Low-income Households: Cost of Living
The Scottish Government's 'Scottish Child Payment' supports over 100,000 children. It was recently doubled to £20 per child per week and will be increased once more to £25 by the end of the year. The UK Government could and should follow up with a matching increase to Universal Credit.
“The Scottish Government has doubled its game-changing Scottish child payment to £20 per child per week and will increase that to £25 by the end of the year, thereby supporting more than 100,000 children. Why will the UK Government not commit to increasing universal credit by an equivalent amount over the same timescale, and match that and extend it to those on legacy benefits as well?”
Watch video here
7th June: Standards in Public Life debate
I spoke in the recent debate on upholding standards in public life. The UK Government must implement all of the recommendations of the 'Standards Matter 2' review, not just those that happen to suit the outgoing PM...
“In closing my remarks, I do not think there is anything that can be done to restore the reputation of this Prime Minister or the Administration he leads, but what is needed urgently is to rebuild trust by reaffirming immediately and without qualification, the seven principles of public life—selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership—and by implementing each and every one of the recommendations in the report, as the motion before us calls for.”
Watch video here
8th June: Prime Ministers' Questions
At the start of the month, Boris Johnson was subject to a confidence vote amongst his Conservative MP colleagues, in which he received the support of just two of Scotland's 59 MP's. I used my question to highlight this debilitating lack of support from his colleagues, and challenged him to stand down as Prime Minister.
“In Monday's confidence vote, Boris Johnson secured the support of just two out of Scotland's 59 MPs. That means out of the massed ranks of his Scottish Conservative colleagues, he got as much support as there are pandas in Edinburgh Zoo.”
Watch video here
13th June: UK Government's Food Strategy
On the day the UK Government launched its food strategy, I challenged the Secretary of State to get to grips with the rising input costs, Brexit trade barriers and labour shortages facing food producers if the Government really wants to tackle the Cost of Living crisis.
“We have massive labour shortages and we have food going unpicked and being ploughed back into the fields. I welcome the 40,000 visas that have been announced, including the 10,000 additional visas, but that barely scratches the surface of demand across Scotland, let alone the rest of the UK, when it comes to tackling these issues.”
"It is imperative that we do all we can during this heightened cost of living crisis to support our producers to maximise the quantities of food we produce domestically, so that we can keep costs down"
14th June: Debate on Passport Delays
I spoke during the debate on Passport Office delays. Too many people are having to put not just travel plans but also their lives on hold while the current delays in issuing passports continue. The UK Government must act as a matter of urgency.
“Too many individuals, families and businesses have been left in limbo by this fiasco; too many have had their plans suspended, upended or overturned; too many have been left unable to demonstrate to authorities who they are for the lack of identification documents, whether they want to travel to access public services or simply to access employment to provide for themselves and their loved ones. The Government needs urgently to get a grip.”
Read my full debate contribution here
Early Day Motions
Early Day Motion - Mr Stanley Morrice MBE
EDM 125: Tabled on 06 June 2022
I tabled this Early Day Motion in Parliament to congratulate Mr Stanley Morrice on being awarded an MBE for services to food and drink.
Full Motion text -
That this House congratulates Mr Stanley Morrice on his being awarded an MBE for his services to the food and drink sector; recognises his role at the forefront of driving sustainable food and drink production in North-east Scotland; notes his leading role in the delivery of 'Seedpod', a £21 million investment in the food and drink industry to create a centre of excellence for sustainable manufacturing and production at Scotland’s Rural College campus at Craibstone, Aberdeen, scheduled to open in 2023; and thanks him for the huge amount of work he has done in mentoring and nurturing the next generation of business leaders and wishes him continued success.
Early Day Motions I have signed:
EDM 142 - The role of design in tackling climate change
EDM 121 - 50 years of Pride in the UK
EDM 131 - Treatment of Liverpool fans at the 2022 Champions League Final in Paris
EDM 106 - UN adopts World Seagrass Day
Read more about my contributions in parliament, the EDMs I have signed and my voting record here
June 29th: Sky News interview
Ahead of Prime Minister's Questions on June 29, I appeared on Sky News to discuss a number of current hot topics such as defence spending, Ukraine and the forthcoming Scottish Independence referendum.
Watch my full contribution here
Opposition to Rwanda flights
This month I signed a cross party letter to the PM calling for him to halt the deportation of refugees to Rwanda. Refugees must be treated with respect and their cases assessed responsibility and swiftly, just as we would hope to be treated if our fates were different.
View my Instagram post here
June 30th: Dáil Éireann visit
On 30th June I met with Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, Ceann Comhairle (Speaker) of the Dáil Éireann; and Minister of State Patrick O'Donovan TD, at a reception in the Speaker's Appartments to mark their visit to the House of Commons.
June 20th: BBC Newsround 50th anniversary
I attended a reception marking the 50th anniversary of the BBC's 'Newsround' progamme, which plays a really valuable role explaining the news to children in an age-appropriate way.
Newsround meant so much to me when I was young and now my own children are avid viewers. Here’s to the programme's next 50 years on air!
Across the Constituency
Joint letter to BBC: Aberdeen as Eurovision host
My North East SNP parliamentary colleagues and I wrote a joint letter to the BBC to ask them to consider Aberdeen as host city for next year's Eurovision contest. P&J Live is a world-leading venue for events of this size and I know that the North East has what it takes to put on a fantastic event.
16th June: Aberdeen University Science Teaching Hub Opening
It was great to be able to attend the Aberdeen University science teaching hub launch and to see this wonderful new teaching facility being opened. Undergraduates will be able to study in the most up to date surroundings and it will play a vital role in helping Aberdeen to attract the best academic talent to study in the North East.
North East Scotland Green Freeport bid
Having made the case at Westminster for a Green Freeport model previously, I welcomed the launch of a bid for a North East Scotland which can help meet Scotland’s net zero ambitions, support the local economy, and uphold the highest standards of environmental protections and fair work practices.
The North East Scotland Green Freeport, encompassing Aberdeen City and Peterhead, aims to deliver growth and regeneration in the North East of Scotland and transform the region into a global leader of sustainable energy and innovation.
North East Scotland Green Freeport bid -
“A Green Freeport for North East Scotland will accelerate Scotland’s ambition of achieving Net Zero by 2045. It will secure vital trade and support the acceleration of innovation, diversification and decarbonisation of the region's key sectors and deliver a £8.5 billion GVA boost, ushering in a new era of investment, innovation, regional regeneration and opportunities for those that need them most.
Up to 32,000 high-quality jobs will be created in the North East of Scotland under ground-breaking plans to transform the region into the 'Net Zero Capital of Europe'."
Visit the bid website here
You can read about the bid in a news article here
Richard on the Radio
This month I took part in several number of radio interviews on current political topics across the UK. Below is information on some of these interviews with links to listen to them.
BBC Radio 4, Westminster Hour, 26/06/22
On 26th June I was a guest on BBC Radio 4's 'Westminster Hour', where we discussed recent English by-elections, Network Rail industrial action and political developments in Scotland.
Presenter Carolyn Quinn said afterwards it was the first show since the pandemic where all guests have been in the studio.
Times Radio, 28/06/22
I spoke with John Pienaar of Times Radio, where we covered why there needs to be another Scottish Independence Referendum and what it means for Scotland
BBC Radio Ulster, 29/06/22
On 29th June I appeared on BBC Radio Ulster's 'Good Morning Ulster' programme to discuss the announcement of an independence referendum for Scotland on the 19th October next year.
BBC Radio 5 Live, Nicky Campbell Show, 29/06/22
I was on Nicky Campbell's show on BBC Radio 5 live on 29th June. We discussed the sad passing of Cancer campaigner, Dame Deborah James who campaigned tirelessly to raise cancer awareness whilst raising millions of pounds. We spent the rest of the discussion covering the decision of the US Supreme Court to overturn the 'Roe v Wade' judgement.
Listen to the second hour of the show here
In The News
Gordon MP welcomes new oil and gas economic impact figures (30 June, Read here)
Tributes paid to community stalwart, Alan Cameron (22 June, Read here)
Calls made for ‘perfectly placed’ Aberdeen to host next year’s Eurovision song contest at P&J Live (17 June, Read here)
Theresa May says ‘not legal’ NI Protocol Bill will ‘diminish’ UK reputation (27 June, Read here)
Suspension of triple lock on pensions slammed by MP (20 June, Read here)
Aberdeenshire MP Richard Thomson challenges Work and Pensions Minister on soaring Cost of Living as those on Universal Credit struggle (13 June, Read here)
Thank you for reading,
Richard Thomson MP
Email – [email protected]
Website – www.richardthomsonmp.com
Telephone – 020 3545 2236
Address - Unit F6, Enterprise Centre, Exploration Drive, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, AB23 8GX