Richard Thomson MP
Gordon Parliamentary Newsletter
A message from Richard Thomson MP
Hello and welcome to my November Parliamentary report. Here you will find details on the activities I’ve been involved in over the previous month as your Member of Parliament for Gordon.
In a period like no other in Westminster politics, September and October saw the UK have three Prime Ministers; three Chancellors with the position of Home Secretary changing hands four times. With such tumult in parliament, a General Election is surely required to press the 'reset' button on a UK Government that has badly lost its way.
I have been busy in the constituency this month, urging businesses to improve broadband services, bring new jobs with Carbon Capture and have supported constituents that are facing another tough winter with rising food and fuel costs.
If I can assist you in any way, please email richard[email protected] or call 020 3545 2236 to get in touch.
Richard Thomson MP
17 October - Replacement of the Chancellor
In a debate following the Chancellor's sacking, I asked the Leader of the House if she thought that Liz Truss - who had yet to make a courtesy call to the Scotland's First Minister - would be able to remain as PM long enough to be able to do so. Truss quit 3 days later, without having spoken to the First Minister...
18 October - Rwanda Partnership: Legal Compatibility
In challenging the UK Government's abhorrent desire to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, I asked Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, why the Home Secretary persists in accusing judges of "mission creep", when those judges simply interpret and uphold the laws that successive UK Governments - including this one - have helped to create.
31 October - Question to Suella Braverman
I asked the newly reappointed Home Secretary to disclose how many places in alternative accommodation for asylum seekers she had authorised in September (during her first period of being Home Secretary).
This is a vitally important question, as there are concerns that her failure to authorise places in alternative accommodation was the key factor in the disgraceful and illegal overcrowding seen at the Manston processing centre.
I followed up on this by tabling written questions to ask about how many places she approved in September and when. At the time of writing, Ministers are still withholding this information...
PM Resignation - Westminster in turmoil
This month I took part in several interviews on current political topics, including the resignation of Liz Truss, and the urgent need to hold a General Election
I spoke with Jim Diamond of LBC News to discuss the resignation of Liz Truss who left office because she couldn't 'deliver on her mandate'. I made the point that instead of foisting another unelected PM on us, there should be an immediate General Election.
I also spoke on the Canadian CTV Power Play TV Programme and podcast to discuss the Prime Minister's resignation, calls for a General Election and Scottish Independence.
Al Jazeera News Interview - PM Resignation
I also spoke to Charlie Angela of Al Jazeera News over the Prime Minister’s resignation and the mounting calls for a #GeneralElectionNow
Across the Constituency
Engagement at SNP Conference
I was pleased to speak with many of the organisations and campaigns who were present at the SNP Conference, held between 8 - 10 October at the P&J Live venue which is in Gordon constituency.
I met with Jon from Guide Dogs Scotland. We spoke about his lived experience and Guide Dogs Scotland's campaigns to recognise the impact that e-scooters have had on safety for people with sight-loss. as well as their Open Doors campaign to ensure people with assistance dogs can access facilities like shops.
I also spoke with Kenneth and Sabah from the British Red Cross about the work they do to ensure that people get the support they need in times of crisis, both locally and internationally through the wider global Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.
Continued support for WASPI Campaign
I spoke with activists from the WASPI campaign about their continued efforts to ensure that 1950s women receive fair and fast compensation.
The UK Government's failure to adequately inform 1950s women of the impact that the change in the pension age would have on their pensions has created a great deal of unnecessary financial hardship for many women.
Following the publication of a report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman which condemned the "maladministration" of the UK Government, I have repeatedly called for WASPI women to be paid the compensation they are due without any further delay.
Further SNP conference engagement
I was pleased to meet with 'Openreach' representatives to discuss their broadband rollout plans and to impress on them the need for improved broadband across Gordon.
I also took the opportunity to speak with Charlotte Hartley from Storegga about the Scottish Cluster.
I believe that carbon capture and hydrogen can play an important role in delivering a just transition, and I back the proposal to make Scotland a major centre for decarbonisation with the Scottish Cluster.
4th October - Aberdeenshire Lived Experience Conference
I had the pleasure of attending the Aberdeenshire Lived Experience Conference at the Rowett Institute as a part of Challenge Poverty Week. I heard from those with lived experience of poverty; partners who have integrated their lived experience in their way of working and attended workshops on relevant topics. This was an insightful and relevant event.
7th October - Uryshire River Walk
I joined Doug Gooday to explore the Uryside Riverside Walk and discussed how it has become a wildlife haven over the last four years.
This was a part of the 'Climate Matters - a Climate Change Festival', which was hosted by the Inverurie West Church.
5th October - Energy Efficiency for Aberdeenshire homes
I was pleased to visit Inverurie to see progress on Aberdeenshire Council's initiatives to put solar panels and external insulation on social housing in the town.
Efficiency standards for social housing in Scotland are driven by the Scottish Government's leading target to become a net-zero nation by 2045. Scottish councils have a target for housing to meet an Energy Efficiency Rating EPC Band B where possible by December 2032.
Installation of solar panels can reduce the cost of energy throughout the day, bringing down costs for the council and ultimately for tenants.
With the council's contractor Mears Construction, I met several residents who were pleased with the speed at which their solar panels had been installed.
Mears will install Solar panels on over 500 homes in Aberdeenshire this year, making significant savings on CO2 emissions and energy costs.
Additional Route from Aberdeen Airport to London
I welcomed the news that Aberdeen Airport will have flights reinstated to London City Airport from next month. This is an important link between the North-east and Central London.
Whilst always mindful of our carbon footprint, I believe this is a necessary additional route. I have received correspondence from constituents since the end of lockdown who had concerns at the current reliability of services between Aberdeen and London Heathrow. Therefore, I hope this additional capacity will go some way in addressing these concerns, and that it might once again become a permanent route in the BA timetable.
Campaign for Seed Potato Exports
Prior to Brexit, Scottish Seed potatoes were a multi-million pound export to European markets. However, since January 2021 Scotland's farmers have been unable to export seed potatoes to the EU, including Northern Ireland, because of changes in trade regulations due to Brexit.
The UK Government has announced an extension to the Trade Support Service (TSS) which helps business navigate changes to the way goods are now exported to Northern Ireland as a result of Brexit. However, Scottish seed potato producers are still banned from exporting to that part of the UK.
To try and address this, I wrote to the previous Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Ranil Jayawarden, asking him to explore new ways in which we could engage with the EU in a meaningful way and restore the export markets for Scottish seed potatoes.
In the news...
Aberdeenshire MP Richard Thomson says it's time for the UK Government to put the economy first (17 October, Read here)
MP shows support for Royal Mail Postal workers (18 October, Read here)
SNP Conference: Is Scottish independence closer than ever? (9 October, Read here)
Aberdeenshire MP Richard Thomson becomes Scoot Aware with Guide Dogs charity at SNP conference in Aberdeen (14 October, Read here)
Scottish MP continues campaign for seed potato exports post-Brexit (5 October, Read here)
MP Richard Thomson says the threat of Conservative austerity to families in Aberdeenshire shows why independence is crucial (18 October, 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