July Newsletter - Text Only Version

Published date : 14 July, 2023

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.

June saw Boris Johnson's Parliamentary career come to an ignominious and craven end, as he ran away rather than face the verdict of his fellow MPs over his repeated lying to the House.

As International Trade spokesperson for the SNP, I also challenged Ministers in Parliament on the poor Australia-New Zealand trade deal the UK government has saddled our farmers and food markets with. 

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

In Westminster

Publication of Privileges Committee Report into Boris Johnson

I appeared on the BBC's 'Politics Live' show on 15 June, the day the Privileges Committee published its report into the conduct of Boris Johnson.

Much of the discussion focused on the report. It is frankly shameful that so many Tory MPs sought to enable and then to excuse his behaviour, even after his premiership was over.

It is a measure of the character of this UK Government that, after the report was published, the Prime Minister and all but one of his front bench abstained from the vote in the Commons - yet again refusing to hold Johnson accountable for his actions.

You can read the full, damning, 77-page report from the Privileges Committee here.

Click here for the full episode.


EU-NZ Trade Deal Exposes Shortcomings Of Poor UK Deal

The EU - New Zealand trade deal contains chapters on dedicated sustainable food systems; a dedicated trade and gender equality article; and a provision on trade and fossil fuel subsidies reforms.

The much weaker deal secured by the UK Government with New Zealand contained none of these important provisions. Instead, it threatens to undermine UK food producers while lowering food standards for UK consumers.

I asked the Minister why if she believed that the deal secured by the UK was so good, it was missing these elements of the deal secured by the EU.

Read NFU Scotland's assessment of the UK's disastrous AUS NZ trade deal negotiations here.


Standing in at Business Questions

I had the opportunity this month to lead for the SNP Group at Question to the Leader of the House.

I began with a tribute to the former Scotland manager Craig Brown, and Winnie Ewing, who changed the course of Scottish politics - two monumental figures in our national life who both sadly passed recently.

In my question, I raised the issue of the privatisation, and the unfolding scandal of England's collapsing private water companies.

I challenged the Leader of the House to make time available for a debate on why public benefit should always take precedence over private profit.


Brexit costs to the Seafood Industry

As the UK is no longer aligned with European food standards, Scotland's seafood industry must now provide expensive export health certificates for every consignment of seafood exported to the EU.

In what must be one of the most useless and irrelevant answers I have ever received form a Minister, the Secretary of State started talking instead about glass bottles...  


...and to the wider economy

Former US Treasury chief Larry Summers called Brexit "a historic economic error" which has worsened economic conditions in the UK.

I put Mr Summers' comments to the Chancellor. Rather practicably, the Chancellor gave a somewhat jingoistic response about the UK economy being in fantastic shape, despite all the clear evidence to the contrary.


VAT on Sun Protection Products

I raised the issue of the cost of sun protection products and asked if Ministers would make representations to the Treasury to reduce or remove VAT on these important products, given their ability to lower skin cancer risks.

This was met with (yet another) completely irrelevant response about the support offered by the UK Government with energy costs (which still lags behind that of many comparator countries).


Early Day Motions Signed


I was pleased to support the following Early Day Motions in June:

EDM 1285: Menstrual Hygiene Day (tabled on 12 June)

EDM 1345: The Ministerial Code and parliamentary standards (tabled on 20 June)

EDM 1376: Death of Craig Brown CBE (26 June)

EDM 1383: Nuclear test veterans (27 June)

EDM 1387: Basque peace process and policy on prisoner dispersal (28 June)


Across the Constituency


1st June: Visit to BP

On the 1st June I visited BP to learn more about their plans  develop the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub along with Aberdeen City Council.

This project would build a hydrogen re-fuelling facility for buses, cars, vans, and trucks, powered by a solar farm and linked by a new grid connection, allowing the renewable energy produced by the solar farm to be used to produce green hydrogen.

They aim to have the project completed by the end of 2024. This project will play an integral role in securing the North-east as the renewable energy capital of Europe.


Macmillan Cancer Support Tug-o-War

I took a break from political battles to take part in a more light-hearted contest to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Along with other MPs from the House of Commons, we won against a team from the House of Lords.

I was delighted to be able to take part in this event. Macmillan do amazing work and this tug-o-war event was a great opportunity for politicians to 'pull together' for a common cause.


Inverurie Medical Practice

In March, along with Gillian Martin MSP, I met with GPs and the Practice Manager in Inverurie to discuss several matters of concern that had been raised by constituents.

A key message from constituents was their frustration with booking appointments. At the meeting, the GPs explained the improvements they were introducing to improve access for patients and that they planned to publish a newsletter to keep patients informed with further updates and information. That newsletter has recently been published and provides practice and staff information and appointment system updates.

Read the full Inverurie GP newsletter here.


In the news...

Grampian Online, 26 June: Gordon MP receives updates on WASPI situation

Grampian Online 12 June: Gordon MP welcomes inquiry into post-Brexit international trade deals

Grampian Online 1 June: Immigration minister agrees to meet Gordon MP on seasonal workers issue

Grampian Online 27 June: Communities urged to apply for SSEN resilience funding

Grampian Online 29 June: MP highlights Brexit concerns from Brewdog

Press Release 16 June: Thomson Welcomes Lidl Commitment to Increase Range of Scottish Produce

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