This Week #49

27th March – 2nd April 2017

On Monday, it was back to London for Marion as the Member of Parliament travelled south for another busy week at Wesminster.

Marion was in London on Tuesday, with a busy day of parliamentary duties and briefings within the House of Commons.

Marion also appeared in a Westminster Hall debate on Preventing Avoidable Sight Loss, providing an excellent contribution:

A really important point is that free eye tests, which we have in Scotland, encourage people to attend regularly to have their eyesight checked, which, as I said, leads to better treatment earlier. We really do not want a postcode lottery anywhere in the UK but, as hon. Members said, there is a postcode lottery in England: people need to live in the best place to get the best treatment.

You can read Marion’s contribution in full here.

On Wednesday, Marion had her usual Education Select Committee commitments prior to her appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP took the opportunity to highlight the ludicrous hypocrisy shown by Theresa May in her attitude to a second independence referendum, given her handling of Brexit:

The people expect the Prime Minister to follow her party’s manifesto, and to abide by a majority vote of this Parliament, so why does she say that the First Minister of Scotland should do the opposite?

The Prime Minister’s response was as dismissive and irrelevant to the question as usual:

What I say is that as we face this historic moment of invoking article 50 and setting in process the negotiations for the future of this country and its relationship with the European Union, now is the time to pull together and not try to hang apart.

Later in the day, during the debate on Article 50, Marion took the opportunity to again quiz the Prime Minister on the prospect of a second independence referendum:

The stated position of the UK Government was that “the UK is a family of nations, a partnership of equals”.

Why then, are the UK Prime Minister and her Secretary of State for Scotland so disrespectful of the people and Parliament of Scotland, and why are they running so scared of a Scottish referendum 18 months to two years down the line?

Theresa May’s unconvincing response was:

There is no disrespect for anybody. What there is is respect for putting into place the vote that was taken by the people of the United Kingdom on 23 June last year.

Thursday saw another busy day of parliamentary duties, including appearing in the backbench business debate on Local and Regional News:

It is important, as many Members have said, that local media are prevalent, as they are a bastion for local democracy. Local media really understand what is going on locally and can be a good force for local campaigning and fundraising. How many of us look at our children and our grandchildren in the weekly newspaper and sigh and feel very proud? I am really proud of my local papers. Last week, there was a local rally welcoming refugees to Wishaw, and the Wishaw Press turned up in force and had it on the front page. That is local democracy in action. The paper will also cover the proposed Scottish Defence League rally, and I hope it gives that the same amount of coverage, because we have to be balanced in what we say.

I may not agree with what local newspapers write, but their right to write it has to be preserved. The NUJ has highlighted that in its mapping exercise. We need to preserve and protect what we have. The Government should consider an inquiry into local media. I hope the Minister will listen to the calls that Members have made. I am not going to stand here and repeat everything that everyone has said, because although these things bear repetition, I do not think it would advance what has already been said this afternoon. This industry is vital for all of us and all our constituents, and we have to look at it in that light.

Later in the day, Marion made the long journey back home for Easter Recess, ahead of a busy couple of weeks working in the constituency.

On Friday, Marion was back home working from her constituency office in the Dalziel Building, Motherwell, dealing with casework, discussing matters with constituents and local organisations, and continuing to work hard for the people of Motherwell and Wishaw.

Marion was at Wishaw Library on Saturday hosting her monthly surgery in the venue.

Surgeries provide a platform for local people to raise their issues, ask questions, and seek assistance from their elected MP, and both Marion and her staff strive to ensure all those seeking support are adequately assisted.