This Week #30

12th – 18th September 2016


On Monday, Marion was back in her office at Westminster, with a busy day of briefings and meetings.

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP also received a couple of responses to written questions:

1. Marion Fellows MP: 

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions her Department has had with the International Olympic Committee and the British Olympic Association on ensuring that British athletes who placed behind athletes found guilty of doping in competitions have their medals and awards upgraded.

Tracey Couch MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport: 

The Government is supportive of the International Olympic Committee‘s Agenda approach that honours clean athletes by awarding an Olympic medal following a positive doping case. Formal medal ceremonies are arranged for medal-winners who receive their Olympic medal following the disqualification of a competitor. There is absolutely no place for drug cheats in sport and it is completely right that clean athletes receive medals when tests have proven doping violations.

2. Marion Fellows MP: 

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is her Department’s policy to immediately reject visa applications based on the applicant’s nationality.

Robert Goodwill MP, the Minister for Immigration:

It is not Home Office policy to refuse an application for a visa on the basis of an applicant’s nationality. All visa applications are considered on their merits, in accordance with the Immigration Rules.



Wednesday brought with it Marion’s usual appearances at the Education Select Committee and Prime Minister’s Questions before an afternoon of meetings.



On Friday, Marion was back in the constituency for her surgery in the Dalziel Building, Motherwell, during which she met with a number of local people, providing invaluable assistance with their issues and concerns.


Missing Chibok Schoolgirls

Last week I spoke in a debate on the missing Chibok Schoolgirls in Nigeria.

Over two years ago, 276 girls were kidnapped by the militant organisation Boko Haram which roughly translates to ‘Western education is a sin’. We can only imagine the distress they and their families are going through.

The UK Government has gone to great lengths to assist the Nigerian Government in bringing the schoolgirls back, but more must be done. Additional efforts must also be made to ensure that everyone around the world, boy or girl, has the right to education to better themselves, their families, communities and countries.

Two years on, we must not forget these girls and must continue to work for their safe return.

Half Signature


This Week #29

5th – 11th September 2016


Monday marked the return to London for Marion and her Westminster colleagues, following on from the summer recess. Naturally, it was an incredibly busy day with a lot of work to catch up on and to prepare for!

Marion used the opportunity in the Chamber to quiz Robert Goodwill MP, the Minister for Immigration, to highlight a specific case the Motherwell & Wishaw MP and her staff have been working on:

The Logan practice in my constituency—it is my own GP practice—has already sponsored medical students from the American University of Beirut for a four-week learning experience. This year’s student, Ghaith Rukba, a Syrian national, has been refused entry, although he would be coming on exactly the same basis as previous applicants. Will the Minister meet me urgently to review the case, as Mr Rukba is due to arrive on 24 September?

Mr Goodwill accepted the invite:

It is certainly the aim of the Government to ensure that those who wish to come to our blue-chip universities—the Russell Group universities—to study can do so, but I understand that there are specific cases for courses. I would be happy to meet the hon. Lady to discuss that case and facilitate it.


On Tuesday, Marion was present at a Westminster Hall debate on the educational performance of boys. The MP, who has a great passion for education, offered a fantastic contribution to the debate which can be read here.

I was the first in my family to go to university, and I was a white working-class girl. Things have changed, but we should not be considering this a gender-specific issue; as has been said, it is a social justice issue. It affects the whole economy and all of us.

Marion Fellows



On Thursday, Marion participated in a Westminster Hall debate on the missing Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria.

My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow North East spoke more generally about the role of educating mothers. My parents were told many, many years ago, “If you educate your daughter, you educate the family.” That is so true. She gave the simple, illuminating example of a mother being able to read the instructions on a medicine bottle. What a difference it makes to a family if the mother can do that.

My hon. Friend Dr Cameron, who is a member of the IDC, gave a full and heart-rending account of her visit and the security issues involved in making even a simple visit to northern Nigeria. All Committee members are to be commended for their bravery and dedication. To go through that and to come back with a burning desire to help even more is commendable.

It is also important that all those who have spoken have congratulated the UK Government on what they have done so far while appealing to them to do even more to help. We understand that forces have been sent to help, to train and to try to find and rescue these girls, but the girls have not been rescued because of the terrain and all sorts of other reasons. We must not give up on these girls.

Once again, I commend everyone who has spoken in this debate for substantially raising awareness. Two years on, these girls must not be forgotten.

Marion’s speech can be read in full here.

Marion was also delighted to receive an answer on Thursday to a previously tabled written question.


Friday brought a day back in the constituency for Marion, working on casework, meeting local organisations, and conducting her monthly Orbiston surgery at Theo’s Cafe.