March 2024 Newsletter - Text Only Version

Published date : 26 March, 2024

Richard Thomson MP 

Gordon Parliamentary Newsletter - March 2024 

A message from Richard Thomson MP 

Hello and welcome to my March Parliamentary report. Here you will find details of my activities over the last month as your MP.  

Westminster this month has seen many issues from the Crisis in Gaza & Israel to the Post Office Horizons scandal that has affected so many sub-postmasters. In the constituency I have visited several businesses, as well as highlighting the work of charitable organisations operating in Gordon. 

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 

In Westminster 

Opposition Day Debate on Gaza / Israel Crisis 

I spoke with Times Radio following the SNP’s recent Opposition Day Debate on Gaza. 

As well as discussing the latest developments in Gaza, I expressed my concern over the Speaker undermining his impartiality by ignoring the advice of his clerks and caving into pressure from the Labour Party to change procedure ‘on the hoof’, which then caused votes calling for an immediate ceasefire and release of hostages to collapse into utter chaos - completely distracting from the importance of the serious issues under discussion. 

Northern Ireland Dual-Market Trade Access 

I and my fellow SNP MP’s hold the general view that the fewer impediments there are to trade between all parts of the UK, and between the UK and the EU, the better. 

This is something which clearly took a seriously backwards step with Brexit, so I very much welcome the progress being made to afford Northern Ireland dual market access to both the UK internal market and to the EU market - a highly advantageous situation relative to other parts of the UK. If only Scotland could have the same... 

While noting that I welcome this legislation, I expressed my hope that in time the people of England, Wales and Scotland will wish to rediscover that advantageous situation for themselves, and ultimately render the content of this legislation obsolete by once again participating in the European Single Market. 

The Proposed ‘East-West Council’ 

The East-West Council business council designed to foster and improve business connections between GB and Northern Ireland, is something that I think is a potentially very useful development.  

It potentially opens up a space in which Scotland and Northern Ireland can co-operate, along with other parts of the UK, in all that they have in common economically, socially, and culturally, and that we will continue to have in common irrespective of whatever constitutional arrangements may be in place in future. 

I asked Steve Baker MP, Northern Ireland Minister, who meet with me to discuss how Scotland can play a positive role in the Council. I was pleased that the Minister agreed to do so.  

Post Office Horizon Scandal 

I asked the Minister responsible for Post Office Ltd, Kevin Hollinrake MP, whether Secretary of State for Business & Trade Kemi Badenoch MP had misled Parliament when she claimed that recently fired Post Office Chair Henry Staunton was under wider investigation for allegations of bullying.  

I also asked the Minister whether the UK Government intends to respond positively to requests from the Scottish Government and the Northern Irish Executive to reconsider introducing legislation that could lead to a swift UK-wide exoneration for the postmasters affected.  

St David’s Day Debate 

I was pleased to speak in the annual St David’s Day Debate, an annual general debate on Welsh Affairs held around St David’s Day.  

I used this opportunity to speak about various topics, including devolution, democracy, and the economy. 

Hackney Pensioners’ Convention 

I was invited to speak to the Hackney Pensioners Convention about the WASPI campaign and pensions inequality more generally. The invitation to meet with them came following my own contributions on the WASPI pension concerns in parliamentary debate. 

Other topics of discussion covered in the Q&A included voting systems and Scottish Independence. 

Across the Constituency 

Film Ocean Visit 

In February I had the pleasure of visiting Film-Ocean Ltd at their Head Office located in Ellon. Film Ocean specialises in delivering ROV systems for global offshore energy projects. 

The company, which has been based in Ellon for the last twenty years, moved into their energy efficient base at Balmacassie last year. They are working towards powering the entire site with renewable energy generated on site by wind power. Alongside a tour of their facilities, I received a briefing from the CEO who offered insights into the company’s progress. 

Deer Farm Visit 

This month I spent a very informative afternoon visiting constituents at their request to view their deer farming operation and hear about the opportunities and challenges facing commercial deer farmers in Scotland. 

Cancer Research  
UK World Cancer Day Event 

In February I attended the annual Cancer Research UK World Cancer Day drop-in event at Westminster following invitations sent by constituents. 

I spoke with volunteers, researchers, and ambassadors from Cancer Research UK about ongoing campaigns such as the Smokefree campaign, which aims to create a smokefree generation in the UK. 

During the event, I was proud to commit to supporting smokefree legislation when introduced in the UK Parliament. I know that Cancer Research UK has huge support within the Gordon constituency, and I am pleased to be able to add my own support. 

Visit to Port of Aberdeen 

This month I met with Bob Sanguinetti, CEO of the Port of Aberdeen, to discuss the success of the new Aberdeen South Harbour and the huge contribution the Port of Aberdeen makes to the wider North East economy. 

The port supports oil, gas, renewables and decarbonisation through its expertise and key location, and has an absolutely critical role to play in delivering an energy ‘Just Transition’ in Scotland and further afield. 

Postcode Lottery 

I am pleased to continue to support the People’s Postcode Lottery and the great work it does in helping to raise funds for charities and local organisations.  

Currently, more than 40 local charities and 11 national charities in the constituency of Gordon are supported by the many players of People’s Postcode Lottery. 

You can find out how to apply for funding and whether you are eligible by using this link:  

Citizens Advice Scotland  
Debt Campaign 

This month I have publicly backed a campaign from Citizens Advice Scotland aimed at offering free, expert advice relating to debt through Citizens Advice Network.  

The ‘Stressed About Debt’ campaign aims to reassure people that debt is nothing to be ashamed of. Debt worries, especially during the cost-of-living crisis, can have an enormous impact on mental health.  

My thanks go to the entire CAB team, both locally and nationally for the work they do. My office too stands ready to assist anyone in Gordon who is facing difficulties in this cost-of-living crisis.  

Anyone affected by debt can find more information by clicking the following link:  

In the news... 

Local MP Comments on Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill:  

Thomson urges UK Govt to call-in Fujitsu’s ‘moral obligation’ over Horizon scandal:  

Thomson Backs Calls for Chancellor to Reduce VAT for Under-Pressure Hospitality Sector:  

North-east dog owners urged to ensure pets are under control near livestock: 

North-east MP supports World Cancer Day campaign:  

Gordon MP Writes to Retailers Asking Them to Do More:  

Richard Thomson MP 


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