11th – 17th July 2016
On Monday, Marion was present at the Westminster Hall debate on School Penalty Fines and Authorised Absence, during which she gave an impressive contribution.
It is important that we listen to the almost 200,000 people who signed the petition, because this is a real-life issue for them and their families. Of course educational attainment is important, and of course there are links to attendance—as a former lecturer in a further education college, I can vouch for that—but when headteachers authorise absences for good reasons and teachers know about those reasons, they can provide homework and catch-up sessions, so students can generally catch up. I very much take on board what the hon. Member for Isle of Wight said: a two-week absence should be seen as a 14-day absence across the whole school year. If a student is attending regularly, a one or two-week holiday might not make much different to their attainment.
Tuesday brought with it a busy day of meetings and briefings. Marion also took time out of her day to mark Srebrenica Memorial Day.
The Motherwell and Wishaw MP was keen to honour those were murdered during the genocide 21 years ago.
Marion signed the Remembering Srebrenica Book of Pledges promising to ensure that the lessons from the genocide are learnt and community cohesion is strengthened across Scotland.
The 12th of July 2016 marked the 21st anniversary of the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two when over 8,000 men and boys were murdered just because of their faith. The Charity Remembering Srebrenica, which organises memorial events across the UK, says that this year it is time to act to counter the rising threat of Hate Crime in the UK.
Tuesday also saw Marion receive an answer to a written question she had submitted on doping in the Olympics:
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make representations to the International Olympic Committee on upgrading the medals of British athletes who were placed behind athletes found guilty of doping in competitions.
Tracey Crouch, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport replied:
Recommendation 17 of the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020 seeks to honour clean athletes by awarding an Olympic medal following a positive doping case. This involves organising formal medal ceremonies for medal-winners who receive their Olympic medal following the disqualification of a competitor.
Last month Australian athlete Jared Tallent was presented with an Olympic gold medal for the 50km walk at the London 2012 Games following the disqualification of a Russian athlete for a doping offence. We expect the same treatment for British athletes.
On Wednesday, Marion delivered a fantastic speech in the Westminster Hall debate on the implications for the UK steel industry of the outcome of the EU referendum. In her contribution, the Motherwell and Wishaw MP championed the saving of the former Tata plants in Scotland and highlighted the UK government’s lack of a post-Brexit plan:
From the start of the steel crisis, the Scottish Government have exhibited tremendous leadership and collective decision making. That demonstrates what is possible when a Government have the will to intervene and have the interests of the workers at heart, but most of all when there is clear leadership and a coherent plan. Following the result of the EU referendum, it is entirely apparent that there was no plan from the UK Government for how to deal with a leave vote. In fact, we are still waiting for the change of Prime Minister today, and we still do not know who will be in charge of the business of steel next week, or even tomorrow. There are also real difficulties in the Opposition, who are still in-fighting rather than moving forward, but I pay complete and sincere tribute to those Opposition Members who have been fighting day and night for their constituents and their steel industry. I cannot say strongly enough what I have learned from them about how best to achieve things and move forward the steel industry in Scotland, half of which is based in my constituency.
— Marion Fellows MP (@marionfellows) July 14, 2016