Category Archives: News

Supporting East Lothian Foodbank’s Jingle Bag Campaign


This year, in order to help make sure everyone has the chance of a proper Christmas Dinner, I am supporting East Lothian Foodbank’s Jingle Bags campaign. The campaign aims to make sure that food bank users have the food available for a proper Christmas dinner. There is a full list of required food items at the Foodbank’s website: My… Read more »

East Lothian moves to Level 2 of Coronavirus Local protection


The Scottish Government has today announced that as of 24 November East Lothian will move to level 2 of the COVID-19 Local protection levels. It’s welcome news that we in East Lothian are moving down to Level 2.  This is largely down to the commitment and caution of the people of East Lothian.  I want to once again give my… Read more »

Happy Diwali


Wishing All a very happy Diwali. It’s a very different celebration this year, but thanks go to the organisers of the online events. I look forward to being able to celebrate with you all next year, but for now: Happy Diwali as you light your lamps in East Lothian, across Scotland, and around the World.

Column: America is realising the futility of an all-out war on drugs and Scotland needs to do so too


In my column in the Scotsman I write about the need for new thinking on Drug legislation in the aftermath of the American Election. “In some states, it was simply a more liberal view on some aspects, such as the legalisation of marijuana, but in Oregon it was decriminalisation. “There’s a long way to go but it’s a start of rolling… Read more »

Cruelty Free International Parliamentarian of the Month


I’m delighted to receive this award for Cruelty Free International’s Parliamentarian of the Month, recognising our search for greater information about the way animals are treated in UK laboratories. The public has made it clear it wants an end to the continued high level of animal suffering in UK laboratories. I will continue to use my platform in order to… Read more »

Good News as Conor begins journey back to Scotland


I was very pleased to hear the news that Conor Howard will return to East Lothian following the Greek Court dismissing the extradition against him from Qatar. I’m delighted that the nightmare for him and his family is over, and he is able to come home. It has been fraught and so unnecessary. I was pleased to be advised by… Read more »

‘Pub Relief’: Proposed new scheme to support the licensed trade


I have written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, proposing a new scheme to help support the licensed trade during the next months of the Pandemic. I have asked him to consider the introduction of a “Pub Relief” – a policy proposal advocated by the Social Market Foundation and one which can be carried out across the UK. This approach would… Read more »

Column: The tragedy of jobs lost


In my column in this week’s East Lothian Courier I discuss the pain caused by the mounting redundancies due to the economic shock of the pandemic. “Sadly, redundancies are mounting as furlough ends. It’s a tragedy for those losing their jobs and finding another isn’t easy. They’ve often given years of dedicated service. Hopefully, the position may be restored when… Read more »

More clarity is needed on the Furlough Scheme extension


I welcome the belated announcement that the Furlough Scheme has now been extended across the UK into December, although further clarity is needed still on the exact repercussions for Scottish decision making. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask why this extension wasn’t available when Scotland pushed for it; why it was left until five hours before the original Scheme… Read more »

Visiting the Glenkinchie Distillery redevelopment


I was delighted to get the chance to visit the new visitor centre at the Glenkinchie Distillery yesterday. The Glenkinchie is a key part of East Lothian’s food and drink industry, as well as our local and international tourism. I was extremely impressed with the new visitor attraction, and even more so by the commitment of Diageo to build on… Read more »