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Month: November 2016

LABOUR DEPUTY LEADER CALLS ON PARTY TO DITCH UNIONIST STANCE

LABOUR DEPUTY LEADER CALLS ON PARTY TO DITCH UNIONIST STANCE

The SNP have welcomed a call from Scottish Labour’s Deputy Leader for his party to ditch their unionist stance. In an interview in the Sunday Herald, Alex Rowley said that he had never considered himself a unionist, and admitted that the “status quo” of a Union dominated by Westminster and Whitehall could not deliver the radical social and economic change that he said left-of-centre Scots want to see. In a clear break from Leader Kezia Dugdale, he said “Of course…

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Balfour Declaration

Balfour Declaration

Several SNP MPs participated in the Balfour Declaration debate in Parliament this week. (click here for the transcript in Hansard) Whilst the historical context is complex, we have stressed the need to learn some important and relevant lessons from the Balfour Declaration. We deeply regret that the UK Government did not fulfil its commission in the Declaration that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and the consequences of…

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Sea Bass

Sea Bass

Sea bass is an important fishery, particularly to recreational and commercial fishing interests on the West Coast of Scotland. I therefore note with some concern the studies of the ICES which have suggested that bass stocks are continuing to deplete. As you may be aware, the EU Fisheries Council agreed a suite of emergency conservation measures in 2015 in order to arrest the decline in sea bass stock. Additional measures were agreed for the 2016 fishing year to restrict the…

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Statement: President-Elect Trump

Statement: President-Elect Trump

“Nobody can predict the full impact of the Presidential election just as few predicted a Trump win, but I am concerned about the international economic situation; the US Dollar has a huge impact on other financial markets, and fluctuations will affect small local businesses as much as multinational corporations. “What we can say with certainty is that come January, the so called leaders of the free world will be the most narcissistic and intolerant to occupy the White House. “German…

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Palestinian Women Affected by Breast Cancer

Palestinian Women Affected by Breast Cancer

My SNP colleagues and I absolutely support all efforts which encourage the government of Israel to remove any obstacles which may hamper treatment for patients.  I was delighted to see the recent awareness campaign organized by the Aid and Hope Program for Cancer Patient Care in Palestine, which received support from the UN. I understand that UNRWA has also been running its own Breast Cancer Awareness campaign across Palestine and this is most welcome. Last Easter, my SNP colleague Dr…

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LONG DELAYS IN DEALING WITH DWP COMPLAINTS IS ‘ DEEPLY TROUBLING’

LONG DELAYS IN DEALING WITH DWP COMPLAINTS IS ‘ DEEPLY TROUBLING’

AN ELEVEN MONTH WAIT IS ‘COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE’      SNP MP Margaret Ferrier has said the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) cannot ‘kick criticisms into the long grass’ following a parliamentary answer she received on the treatment of one of her constituents – who had to wait a full 11 months for an Employment Support Allowance complaint to be dealt with.   The answer confirmed that an 11 month waiting period is the UK Government’s accepted norm.   Margaret Ferrier…

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SNP CALLS FOR “TELEPHONE TAX” ON DISABLED AND DISADVANTAGED TO BE SCRAPPED

SNP CALLS FOR “TELEPHONE TAX” ON DISABLED AND DISADVANTAGED TO BE SCRAPPED

CALLS TO PURSUE PIP CLAIMS COST UP TO 45p A MINUTE The SNP have called on the Prime Minister to scrap the “telephone tax” on social security claimants and for all Department for Work and Pensions numbers to be replaced with low-cost numbers. It is free to call the DWP to make an initial claim for a social security entitlement but with many claimants often experiencing problems such as late payments, they are forced to call expensive 0345 numbers in…

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UK Stroke Strategy

UK Stroke Strategy

A number of people, mostly from outside of the constituency, have contacted me regarding the need for a stroke strategy for the UK. Health is an area of policy devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and this is not an area I would wish to comment on with regards the rest of the UK.   I am aware that strokes remain the third-biggest killer in Scotland and the leading cause of disability, which is why it has been a clinical priority…

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