Wishaw Press

20th July 2016

The past few weeks have been extremely turbulent with the result of the EU Referendum and leadership wrangles in both the Labour and Conservative parties.

In the EU referendum, 62 per cent of the vote, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain.

But Scotland will be removed from the EU against the will of the Scottish people.

As a people we must consider all of the options that are open to us. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already had meetings with EU Presidents to consider Scotland’s continued EU membership.

While Labour and the Tories are taking the opportunity to bicker amongst themselves during one of the UK’s most uncertain times, the Scottish Government and the SNP at Westminster are the only ones with a coherent plan for taking the country forward.

There is also great uncertainty on the lives of EU nationals living here and British nationals living elsewhere in the EU.

There can be no doubt that they have made immense contributions to our local communities and wider society.

I have therefore written to new PM Theresa May to make a statement to confirm the future of EU nationals.

I joined the WASPI women outside Parliament in their fight for their pension rights.

Pensions are a contract; not a benefit, but the UK Government still refuses to respect their pension rights for which they have been working their entire lives.

This fight is by no means over.

In Parliament, I spoke up for Yvonne Mooney who achieved a bronze Olympic medal after coming behind a Soviet athlete who was later found to have been doping.

The UK Government must put pressure on the International Olympic Committee to remove all medals from any athlete found guilty of doping.

The long-awaited Chilcot Report has also been released highlighting the UK Government’s catalogue of failures in the Iraq War. It revealed that Tony Blair made a premature commitment to go to war to President Bush before Parliament was able to consider the evidence, stating “I will be with you whatever”.

The report also found there was no plan to rebuild Iraq post-invasion and soldiers were under-equipped.

With its findings, we can now turn our attention to secure justice for the deaths of the 179 British service personnel and countless innocent Iraqis.

One of the most enjoyable engagements I carried out recently was opening the International Conference of School pupils in North Lanarkshire at the GLO Centre in Motherwell. The enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment of all those who took part was immense.

If these young people are the politicians of the future then we are in very good hands.