ANOTHER disjointed and unproductive week ensues because the Conservative and Unionist UK government and the official opposition are so entrenched in their own identity crisis that they are terrified of losing votes and splitting their parties further. A legislator can’t work effectively if it is afraid of open debate and that’s the case at Westminster. As a result, the business of the day is chopped and changed, promises on votes and amendments are made and broken and party whips pace the floor nervously. As of Monday, nobody knows what will be debated on or voted on this Wednesday or Thursday, so I busied myself elsewhere.

I had meetings with cross party colleagues to discuss the Food Standards Authority report regarding the safe level of CBD in food supplements. It is yet another complication to the cannabis conversation and one that is completely unwarranted.


THE day started with my select committee interviewing Baroness Deech as the government’s preferred candidate for chair of the House of Lords appointment commission. It was an interesting interview and she could clearly bring a lot to the job. Unfortunately, her remit is tight and it’s hard to see how she could improve the quality of the members without the power to restructure the House of Lords.

I met with the Cannabis Industry Council. We continue to work together to change the law around prescribing medical cannabis and we are nudging others slowly in the right direction. But it continues to be an immense frustration that both politicians and medical professionals can’t provide a better system now.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on gambling related harm met and took evidence from a panel of experts regarding advertising and marketing gambling products. It is clear to see that the industry is miles ahead in terms of marketing their product and that the current legislation leaves a great deal to be desired.

I then, along with John McDonnell MP, met with an organisation called PHSO (Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman) the facts. They are pushing for changes to the Ombudsman and as the current chair is stepping down they are keen to engage with my select committee as we work closely with the PHSO.


I DID a quick tour of the parliament estate with constituents. Quicker than I would have liked as the House of Lords was closing for a rehearsal of the prorogation of Parliament ceremony.

Prime Minister’s Questions was subdued, and the Labour opposition steered clear of confronting the Conservative government over the latest conflict in Gaza.

Mhairi Black didn’t shy away from her responsibility and pushed the UK government for a commitment to seek a ceasefire so as all innocent men, woman and children on both sides of the conflict can be spared further bloodshed.


WITH the main debate being cancelled then reinstated, then cancelled again, I took the decision to return home. This freed me up to get up to speed with casework and attend the Notre Dame High School pathways event. My remit was to talk about my job but I expanded that to a more rounded talk on careers in politics. There are far more people with far longer careers in politics than many of the elected members and it was good to highlight their diverse knowledge and skills sets, along with the roles they play in supporting members.


I STARTED the day by meeting up with my SNP colleagues, Stuart McMillan MSP and Councillor Liz Robertson. The relationship between different governing bodies is important and our regular catch-ups allow us to gain a better understanding of the difficulties and the opportunities that we each face.

In these times of austerity, we stand together to do everything we can to represent our constituents first and foremost and if I need to seek that help from the Scottish Government or local council, I am not slow to do so.

The rest of the day was taken up with constituents and correspondence on their behalf.