Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

May News - Westminster

Drugs-inquiry

The election we didn't think would happen, did. And Edinburgh once again rejected Brexit decisively. 72% of those who voted chose to vote for a party that explicitly wants to remain in the EU - the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Greens or Change UK. And across Scotland the SNP returned the highest vote share of any party in the UK sending three MEPs to Brussels. I'll be doing all I can to ensure they get to stay there beyond October. On election day I had a column in the Edinburgh Evening News giving my take on what I thought might happen: I think it still stands.

Theresa May has, finally, resigned from office. But she hasn't gone yet. She'll leave as leader of the Conservative Party on the 7th June but remains as the Prime Minister until a new leader is selected - likely to be the end of July. In reality, I can't see how a new Prime Minister can change much in terms of the Brexit deal. The EU have been clear that they won't re-open negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement and Parliamentary arithmetic remains the same. As it stands we're due to leave the EU on 31st October with, or without a deal, and parliament must act to ensure we don't have a no deal Brexit by accident - or indeed by design given what some of the candidates are saying. 

And while the Conservative Party battle this out among themselves - some of us are trying to get on with tackling the issues that are affecting our constituents. At the start of the month I received a lot of emails asking my views on Climate Change. I spoke in the debate on a climate emergency on the 1st May - you can watch it here. I was pleased that the motion passed without a vote but the UK government now has to act.

I also asked a lot of parliamentary questions during May. First up was an Urgent Question on the sacking of Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson. It was a symptom of a government beginning to eat itself alive - watch my question here. Then during Wales Questions, the Minister shamefully failed to answer my question. Child poverty rates are too high across the whole of the UK but they're lower in Scotland thanks to mitigation of the worst Tory austerity by the Scottish government.

It was Scottish Questions this month too. I asked David Mundell if he would respect the result of the EU referendum if the SNP were to win. But the truth is, it doesn't matter how many times people in Scotland demand the right to decide on independence - this Secretary of State will never support that claim. Watch here.

Netanyahu's annexation plans in Israel are deeply troubling - we cannot allow the imminent peace plan due from Trump to support this. Watch my exchange with the Minister from this month's Foreign Office Questions. And later on in the month I asked DCMS about Society Lottery reforms and the Attorney General about electoral fraud.    

Regular readers of this newsletter know that I am very interested in drugs policy and how we can move things forward. The Scottish Affairs Committee began taking oral evidence for our drugs inquiry in May and it's been pretty powerful stuff. We've heard from experts and those with lived experience in Westminster and Edinburgh. The inquiry is ongoing and you can find out more here.

The Scottish Affairs Committee also visited Canada during the short May recess. This linked to a number of our inquiries - we visited a supervised drug consumption facility in Ontario where drug users can inject safely and access a range of services. Something Glasgow has sought for some time but can't do without the approval of Westminster. We also visited the Canadian and Quebec Parliaments to find out more about their relationship.

It was great to meet the therapy dogs who visited Parliament in May. Thanks to Eileen and the lovely Spartacus for talking me through their work. Find out more about the charity and how you can get involved here.

May News - Constituency
EU elections: Why the Brexit crisis is going to ge...
 

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Monday, 26 August 2019

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Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
18 July 2019
Tommys Blog
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The wait is nearly over. By next week the Tory party will have a new leader. And then they will foist him on the country at large. With most of the votes cast it seems that the clown prince is unstoppable. Barring a miracle Boris Johnson will be our next Prime Minister.

And then what?

Tommy Sheppard
08 July 2019
Tommys Blog
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Democracy means the right to change your mind. Collectively, people can decide to do something, and if it doesn't work, or they don't like it, they can do something else. That much shouldn't be in doubt for the left - or any democrat. There's no argument in principle against having a second referendum - on anything - if that is what people want.Then again, you can't go changing your mind every wee...
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25 April 2019
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Forty years ago in the sweltering summer of 1979 I got myself arrested at Torness. I was one of hundreds protesting against the construction of the nuclear power station. For my efforts I got to spend a night in the cells at Dunbar nick.As the then Thatcher government was keen to point out - we didn't stop Torness. But as I'm keen to point out it was a tipping point. The time when nuclear energy l...
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29 March 2019
Tommys Blog
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For many months the government has wielded a number of sticks to beat MPs into supporting its Withdrawal Agreement. It might be bad, they argue, but the alternative is worse. Remainers have been threatened with no deal. Leavers with no Brexit.The latest big stick is the threat of having to participate in the European parliamentary elections. To avoid this the Government (and the EU’s) new deadline...
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Tommys Blog
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So we’re not leaving the European Union tomorrow after all. As the Brexiters cancel their street parties and put away the bunting the rest of us should think carefully about what to do with the reprieve.This week started with parliament voting to take control of the process from government. A move without precedent. In truth, we were forced into it. What else can you do when faced with a governmen...