VIDEO: EU Withdrawal Agreement Debate

Running scared from Parliament and her own party after failing to renegotiate her woeful Brexit deal, Theresa May is plunging the country’s economy and people into further uncertainty and strife.


Constituency Office: Christmas Closure Details

Please note that my constituency office in the Dalziel Building, Motherwell will close this evening, opening again on Monday 7th of January 2018.

During this period my staff and I will not be on hand to respond to e-mails or receive telephone calls. However, should you e-mail me or telephone my office and leave a message, someone will be able to deal with your enquiry upon the office’s re-opening in January.

If you are experiencing a local issue of some urgency the following emergency telephone numbers at North Lanarkshire Council may be helpful:

  • Environmental enquiries – 01698 403110 (including special uplifts and bin collection, road repairs, lighting faults, abandoned vehicles and pest control problems)
  • General enquiries – 01698 403200
  • Housing Repairs – 0800 678 1166
  • Gas/solid fuel heating repairs – 0845 606 1555
  • Homelessness – 0800 953 2424
  • Anti-social behaviour – 0300 123 1382
  • Social Work Emergency Service – 0800 121 4114

For more contact details on helpful organisations, also check out the Support section of my website.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Question Time in Motherwell

It is extremely disappointing that the BBC will not be improving its standards in representing all the nations of the UK with Question Time only leaving England once in its first 14 shows.

The BBC is more concerned with what happens in the London bubble than what happens in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Thankfully, however, Question Time will be coming to Motherwell. I know that local people will give the panel a good grilling and make their voices heard which will be a bit different to what QT is use to broadcasting. You can sign up to attend here:…/5vy…/join-the-question-time-audience


Foodbank Collection

I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone that helped at my foodbank collection in Motherwell this morning.

I was overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone that donated so much food and by those that donated money.

Thank you so very much for your kindness. 




Last week, local MP Marion Fellows awarded the winners of her Motherwell and Wishaw constituency Christmas card competition with their prizes.

All schools across the constituency were encouraged to take part with hundreds of entries flooding in over November and December.

A winner from each age group was chosen with one from the Infants (P1-3), Juniors (P4-5) and Seniors (P6-7).

The winners were:
Infants – Paige Simpson from St Aidan’s Primary.
Juniors – Casey Thomson from Wishaw Academy Primary.
Seniors – Eva Marie McMahon – St Ignatius Primary.

Winners were awarded a framed print of their winning entry, a bundle of Christmas cards and mug featuring their design, and a £25 cinema gift card.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

A big well done to all the boys and girls who took part to show off their artistic skills and a special well done to those who won. Motherwell and Wishaw definitely has some budding Banksys and future Frida Kahlos.

Christmas is a great time to get children to move away from a screen and put some pen to paper and show off their creative talents.

It’s also a great time to see a Christmas film and I’m sure they’ll enjoy their day out with a loved one.

I hope that all the participants and their families have a marvellous Christmas and a happy Hogmanay.




The UK Government succeeded in a vote which could see £4million of child support owed to Motherwell and Wishaw families and young people under the Child Support Agency (CSA) completely wiped out while parents are denied access to courts.

Likewise, £17,366,000 of arrears owed across North Lanarkshire and £225,269,000 across Scotland could also be written off.

Parents with non-paying debt over £1000 (for applications made before November 2008) or £500 (for applications made after November 2008) will receive a letter to ask if they want arrears collected. Letters will not tell parents how much they are owed.

Parents then have 60 days to respond to say they do or arrears will be wiped.

Of those who do want arrears collected, the UK Government’s arrears strategy states that they will only pursue them “if there is a reasonable chance of collection” which is determined by factors such as if a parent’s address can be found and what previous enforcement action was taken.

If the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) refuse to collect, families have no automatic right to the courts to pursue justice.

Commenting, SNP MP Marion Fellows said:

The UK Government is reneging on its responsibilities to young adults and parents by attempting to wipe out £4million of arrears.

The UK Government isn’t recognising the positive impact maintenance can still have on the lives of parents and young adults which they were neglected of in their formative, younger years.

By omitting arrears from letters, only pursuing arrears at a parent’s request and using a seemingly arbitrary criteria for collection, the UK Government is trying to weasel out of its responsibilities.

If parents won’t pay and the DWP won’t collect, court action must be automatically afforded to parents.

The DWP has to face up to the failings of the past under the CSA and its current failings under the Child Maintenance Service. Families are all owed an apology, but ultimately their maintenance.


Free Forcadell!

The former Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, was imprisoned without trial for allowing a debate on Catalan independence.

She joins several other members of the Catalan Government who wanted their people to exercise their right to self-determination.

This is a human rights crisis for Europe. Only through a recognised democratic vote where the Catalan people exercise their right to self-determination can democracy be upheld.


Audits still shrouded in secrecy…

Following my meeting with the Disability Minister, audits are still shrouded in secrecy as Ministers and IAS – who carry out assessments – contradict each other over the power of auditors.

Every section of the original report where my constituent scored points was reduced to zero by the ‘auditor’. Had my constituent’s report not been audited, he would have been entitled to the standard rate of the daily living component worth £57.30 per week.

The DWP appears to be directly tampering with the assessment reports of PIP claimants. Sadly, the Leader of the House did not think it is important enough to set time aside to discuss it.


Time for Labour to Act!

The Prime Minister and her Tory Government is in utter disarray. The whole of the United Kingdom is now a laughing stock on the international stage thanks to the seemingly never-ending, farcical leadership by Theresa May.

It is now time for Jeremy Coybyn, as the leader of the official opposition, to lodge a motion of no confidence in this incompetent government. If he does so, the SNP will support it and we can then work together to forge a way out of this utter shambles, offering the people a chance to stop Brexit in another vote. This debacle simply cannot be allowed to continue on.

Theresa May’s decision to pull today’s vote because she knew she would lose is an act of pathetic cowardice.

Today is the day for Jeremy Corbyn to avoid showing similar fear.




Motherwell & Wishaw MP Marion Fellows and her staff are this Christmas buying their Secret Santa gifts from local small businesses and charity shops and encouraging others to ‘Look Locally’ and be a ‘Good Cause Santa Clause’.

The ‘Good Cause Santa Claus’ campaign is being promoted by the Charity Retail Association to raise much needed funds for charities in the run up to Christmas and encourages people to support businesses on their high street.

Likewise, shopping at local small businesses can support and grow the local economy for the benefit of local communities.

Mrs Fellows visited a number of small businesses around the constituency for Small Business Saturday last week (1 December), including the CentrePoint Christmas Fayre and Paterson’s Engraving in Gowkthrapple and Lanarkshire institution, Denholm’s Bakers in Motherwell.

Commenting, Marion Fellows said:

Whether it’s a big gift, a stocking filler or a Secret Santa for your office, Motherwell and Wishaw has a number of great places to look. This Christmas, people should ‘Look Locally’ and be a ‘Good Cause Santa Claus’.

Last Saturday, I celebrated Small Business Saturday by visiting a number of local businesses to see the work they do.

Looking to local independent and small businesses, people can find a Christmas present for a loved one and support the local economy and local jobs in the process.

With Christmas being a time of compassion, charity shops are a great place to find different types of gifts which can contribute towards a worthwhile cause and will also be within your Secret Santa limit.

Shopping locally is also a great way to support your high street and communities.