November Newsletter Text Only Version

Published date : 23 November, 2023

Hello and welcome to my November Parliamentary report, where you can find details on my activities over the last month as your MP.

Events in the Middle East continue to dominate and several hundred constituents have now been in contact with me on the subject. Out and about I met with various groups including WASPI campaigners, NFUS reps, Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Tarves village group and spoke at the Plaid Cymru Conference.

As ever, please get in touch if my team or I can assist you, by emailing [email protected] or calling 020 3545 2236.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Thomson MP

In Westminster

Cross Party Gaza Letter and Ceasefire Vote

Together with 115 other Parliamentarians, I signed a cross-party letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. I also joined SNP MP colleagues in voting for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza at Westminster.

There is a growing international support for a ceasefire. It is beyond disappointing that a majority of MPs have so far refused to lend their voice to such a call.

I will continue to press for a ceasefire in the hope that international voices can help focus efforts on helping the humanitarian response and finding a political settlement.

You can read the cross-party letter here.

Gaza Rally in Aberdeen

On 28th October I spoke at a rally calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and for the release of all Israeli hostages being held by Hamas.

The attacks carried out by Hamas on 7 October were despicable. While Israel has a right to defend itself, it must still abide by international law, and not inflict suffering and hardship on innocent civilians in Gaza.

The only solution to the long-term strife in the region is through political dialogue and the establishment of a 2-state solution, to allow Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace, dignity and prosperity. 

Pensions Drop-in

I attended a ‘drop in‘ session in Parliament hosted by Scottish Widows to discuss how people can do more to save for their retirement . Their ‘Pension Mirror ‘ app uses your phone or computer camera to guess your age, before showing how much people of a similar age have saved for their retirement.

You can try the Pension Mirror here!

Draft United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 (Services Exclusions) Regulations 2023

The Internal Market Act 2020 led to powers that ought to have gone to the devolved administrations following Brexit being stuck in Westminster.

I welcomed that the Draft United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 (Services Exclusions) Regulations 2023 contained exclusions for areas like heat regulation and education where the UK Government have recognised the need for different regulatory approaches in different arts of the UK.

My contribution can be read here.

Early Day Motions Signed

Across October, I signed the following Early Day Motions:

EDM 1705: 50th anniversary of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig; tabled on 24 October 2023

EDM 1685: Protecting civilians in Gaza and Israel; tabled on 17 October 2023

EDM 1676: Israel's response to Hamas atrocities and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza; tabled on 16 October 2023

EDM 1658: Launch of SafeKab; tabled on 16 October 2023

October's written questions

Across October, I submitted various written questions to Government departments. Here are just a few:

13 October 2023: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help prevent breaches of international humanitarian law in Western Sahara. You can read the Ministers response here.

13 October 2023: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the human rights of the Saharawi people. You can read the response here.

19 October 2023: To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether her Department has held discussions with the devolved Administrations on trade negotiations with the US; and whether she plans to include the devolved Administrations in future negotiations. You can read the response here.


Across the Constituency

SNP Conference 2023

I was pleased to welcome the SNP Conference to the P&J Live venue in the Gordon Constituency. The conference, which took place between 15-17 October, was a great chance to speak with many of the organisations and campaigns who make a real difference in the constituency.

I met with Neil, who is a guide dog owner. We discussed the Guide Dogs anti-pavement parking campaign, which was launched to strengthen the law on pavement parking, and to educate drivers on the impact that parking on pavements has on all different kinds of people, visually impaired or not.

I also enjoyed sitting down with members from NFUS at the SNP Conference, who were keen to discuss a number of issues which affect their members, from funding to trade policy and the need for increased labour.

I spoke with activists from the WASPI campaign about their continued efforts to ensure that 1950s women receive fair and fast compensation for their underpaid pensions. After the publication of a report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which condemned the UK Government’s “maladministration” I have called for WASPI women to be paid the compensation they are due without further delay.

I also met with Klina Jordan from the ‘Make Votes Matter’ campaign, which seeks to replace the first-past-the-post voting system used in UK General Elections with a system of of proportional representation.


Making votes count and having fair elections is fundamental to a healthy democracy, which is why I have always supported PR for elections at all levels of government.

World at One Interview

I spoke to the World at One on Radio 4 ahead of Humza Yousaf’s keynote speech to the SNP National Conference.

At the conference, SNP members debated the party’s independence strategy. You can read the motion which was agreed by our conference here.

Plaid Cymru Conference

It was a pleasure to deliver the Fraternal Address as my party’s Welsh Affairs spokesman to delegates at the Plaid Cymru conference in Aberystwyth.

It was the first time I had attended the Plaid conference, and it was very interesting to be able to discuss with delegates the issues which Gordon - and Scotland - share with communities across Wales.

You can watch my speech here.

Future Farming Expo

I had the pleasure of visiting the Future Farming Expo Event which was held at the P&J Live. It was fantastic to see such a showcase for agriculture and technological innovation.

Innovation of the kind showcased comes as second nature to the farming sector in the North-east. I congratulate the organisers on a successful event and wish the event well for future years.

Tarves Showcase Event

On the 1st October I attended Tarves Showcase Event in the Melvin Hall. This brought together a large number of local organisations to show what the village has to offer, as well as to showcase opportunities for people to make new friends, develop new skills and to get fully involved in local life and supporting the community. 


In the news...

Grampian Online, 24 October 2023, Politics: Party conferences are good opportunity to hear from campaigning groups

Grampian Online, 12 October 2023, Backing for public’s right to continued access to cash as means of payment

Press Release, 12 October 2023, Gordon MP Visits Future Farming Expo Event

Grampian Online, 5 October 2023, SNP MP calls out two child cap as 3270 children pushed into poverty in Gordon constituency

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