February Newsletter - Text Only Version

Published date : 21 February, 2024

Hello and welcome to my February 2024 Parliamentary report. Here you’ll find details on my activities over the last month as your MP.

I continue to receive a significant amount of correspondence about the desperate and very serious situation in Gaza. The Rwanda Bill has also generated much concern for people.

In the constituency I have, amongst others, met with community groups in Ythanbank and Inverurie and met with the Chief Officer of Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership to discuss the future of Insch Hospital.

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

Royal Mail Weekend Deliveries

Following proposals from Ofcom which could, if implemented, lead to a reduction in delivery days for letters delivered by Royal Mail, I asked the Prime Minister to rule out any reduction in delivery days.

Whilst I welcome the assurance from the Prime Minister that he remains “absolutely committed” to ensuring those vital services remain as is, is still important that people respond to this significant consultation.


Post Office Horizon Scandal

Following a statement by a Fujitsu executive that he accepted the company had a “moral obligation” to contribute towards compensation for impacted sub postmasters, I asked the Minister who oversees the Post Office if he had met with Fujitsu to discuss compensation, and if the Government could commit to an audit into how much money has been wrongly claimed back from staff as a result of shortfalls with the Horizon system.


Impact of Visa Changes to Universities

The director of Universities Scotland, Alastair Sim, has expressed concern that changes to the Government’s visa income threshold could affect universities’ ability to attract global talent.

I asked the Minister responsible for visa policies to explain why his Government, which claims to recognise the vital contribution of international students and academics, would wish to introduce a policy which threatens to prevent future generations of scholars from being able to make a similar contribution.


Failed Transition for Steel

The decision to cut 2,800 jobs at the Port Talbot Steel Works is economically, environmentally and strategically inept.

It means that the UK is outsourcing the emissions associated with the production of that virgin steel, while offshoring the jobs, and is moving closer to being the only state in the G20 without the capacity to make its own virgin steel.

I challenged the Government on its disastrous handling of this issue, and warned the Labour Front Bench that they should not water down their £28bn ‘just transition’ pledge. 


CPTPP Trade Bill Legislation

Although the UK Government continues to laud its decision to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), we have essentially swapped having freedom of movement in goods, capital, services and people across the EU - a geographically close market of half a billion people with a GDP of over £15 trillion right on our doorstep; for a much lesser deal with a market with an economy of almost half the size, located on the opposite side of the world.

I again raised the harm that will be caused to domestic egg producers - and potentially many other agrifood industries -  if tariffs are lifted to allow cheaper imports from countries with lower food and welfare standards.


Child Labour in India

Together with my SNP colleague Joanna Cherry MP, I used the opportunity of Trade Questions to ask the relevant UK Government Minister to outline how the UK Government is engaging with negotiators in India to tackle child labour issues.

It took the intervention of the Speaker to have to remind the Minister that it was the job of Ministers to at least try and answer questions, something which I’m not really sure he was any better at doing at the second time of asking.


Nuclear Power

The Scottish Government opposes new nuclear power on the basis that, aside from the significant environmental concerns, the economics do not add up. It is slow to deliver, it is horrendously expensive; and inevitably, the clean-up costs for decommissioning end up being left with the taxpayer to deal with.

I challenged the Minister to respect devolution and the right of the Scottish Government to refuse to grant planning permission for new nuclear plants; and asked him to guarantee that the multibillion-pound decommissioning liabilities for any new nuclear plants would be met by the private companies who will operate them. He gave a grudging ‘yes’ to the first question and a deafening silence to the second...


Return of the Northern

Return of the Northern Ireland Assembly

I am firmly of the view that Northern Ireland is governed best when it is governed locally, and I very much welcome the news that a new Executive has now taken office.

Prior to this, I asked the Northern Ireland Secretary for information on when details of the new fiscal framework will emerge; and sought clarity on the role he envisages other devolved governments playing in making sure the new east-west economic council which is planned is a success.


Across the Constituency

10,000 Casework Milestone

In January I reached a significant milestone as my office dealt with its 10,000th item of casework from constituents since I was elected in December 2019. As an MP, a key responsibility is to stand up for my constituents on all issues whether big or small and ensure that my office team are accessible. I can’t promise to win every battle on behalf of constituents, but my office team and I work hard to get results where we can, and try to make a positive difference to people’s lives all across the Gordon constituency.

If you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to get in contact using the details below:

Telephone: 020 3545 2236; Email: [email protected]; Website:

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

On the 19th January I attended the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce business breakfast and got the lowdown on the latest Quarterly Economic Survey for the North East.

You can read the Quarterly Survey in full here.

Stewart Milne Group Administration

This month I spoke to BBC Radio Scotland about the news that administrators had been appointed to the Stewart Milne Group - news which was devastating for the workforce and contractors working for the Company.

Together with my MP and MSP colleagues, we have met with administrators to discuss what happens next; and welcomed the swift response from the Scottish Government to offer support in finding new work for those have being made redundant.

A96 Flooding

In January I received a positive response from Transport Scotland when I approached them about the recent instances of flooding on the A96 and within Huntly.

Responding to my letter, Hugh Gillies, Director of Roads at Transport of Scotland confirmed that Operating Company Amey has designed a scheme which will help to alleviate flooding and improve resilience at this location.


I am pleased that Transport Scotland have responded quickly and positively, confirming that the Trunk Road Operating Company Amey are working on measures to mitigate this. Amey expects the work to be completed by March 31st.

NFUS ‘ShelfWatch’ Survey

This month I backed NFU Scotland’s ‘Shelfwatch’ survey which was carried out across supermarkets in Scotland in support of Scottish produce.

Last month I visited NFU Scotland’s event at Aldi’s Beach Boulevard store in Aberdeen to thank local farmers for promoting Scottish produce and support their efforts in getting the message across to the public.

This is a very positive move by NFUS and aims to highlight and celebrate best practice where it is found, but also to identify where more can be done to promote our excellent Scottish produce.

Consumers need to be given the opportunity to support local and Scottish produce wherever they shop.


In the news...

North-East MP Welcomes Vennells’ Decision to Hand Back CBE Honour - Grampian Online, 10 January 2024

Scottish Agriculture Awards in Westminster Spotlight - The Scottish Farmer, 12 January 2024

Gordon MP comments on progress in WASPI women investigation - Grampian Online, 13 December 2023

Gordon MP reaches 10,000 constituent cases milestone - Grampian Online 10 January 2024

Forced-Fitting of Pre-Payment Meters needs Careful Monitoring - MP – Press Release, 9 January 2024

Gordon MP Comments on Stewart Milne Group Administration – Press Release, 9 January 2024


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