Category Archives: News

Column: Coronavirus vaccination rollout on track


In my column in the East Lothian Courier I discuss conversations with the Health Secretary and the health board about the vaccine rollout. “The issue of many being asked to travel to Edinburgh is being addressed with the mass vaccination centre at Queen Margaret University opening up, East Lothian Community Hospital also, and improvements in supply to GP practices which… Read more »

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund open for applications


This grant scheme, provided by the Scottish Government, is designed to help alleviate financial hardship for newly self-employed people who meet the eligibility criteria. I would encourage any constituent whose status as being newly self-employed makes them ineligible for the UK Government’s Self-employment Income Support Scheme to apply for this new scheme, which awards a one-off payment of £4,000. The… Read more »

Column: We must help the vulnerable


In my column in the East Lothian Courier I discuss how I believe we should move on with the vaccine roll-out across Scotland. “Recent emphasis has been on protecting the elderly. Rolling out vaccinations to those in care homes and to the oldest age groups was the right thing to do. They’re the most vulnerable and require urgent protection. “I… Read more »

Cold weather payment triggered in areas of East Lothian


This morning a cold weather payment was triggered in areas of East Lothian.  This includes postcodes beginning: EH21, EH22, EH31, EH32, EH33, EH34, EH35, EH36, EH37, EH39, EH40, EH41, EH42, TD11 and TD13. Cold Weather Payments are made to recipients of selected benefits. £25 will be paid to eligible residents. You can find more information and eligibility criteria at the… Read more »

Column: Big vaccine effort


In my column in this week’s East Lothian Courier I discuss the work that is going in to getting the vaccine out, as well as the issues of global inequality in the pandemic response: There are many concerns about the vaccine rollout. If everyone could be given the jag tomorrow, then it would be done. But this is an unprecedented… Read more »

Politics Live on BBC2 2/2/21


I was interviewed on the BBC’s Politics Live programme this afternoon, discussing a number of topics including the potential requirement for all visitors to Scotland to quarantine in a hotel upon arrival.  Subsequent to this interview the Scottish Government has announced that visitors will indeed have to quarantine.  You can find more information on this new aspect of our efforts… Read more »

Supporting the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill


It was a pleasure to speak with young activists today in support of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill. These young people were ambassadors for the Bill, headed by Big Issue founder Lord Bird and Green MP Caroline Lucas, which is currently making its way through the House of Commons. I have also co-signed a letter to the UK Government… Read more »

Speaking in Parliament: The Trade Bill


In the debate on the Trade Bill I underline the importance of protecting our high quality food and environmental standards, and our NHS, from the vested interests of US companies. “I think it’s absolutely essential that the National Health Service free at the point of delivery, and predicated on being a service delivered by a public duty rather than by… Read more »

The Big Energy Saving Month 2021 launches today


Citizens Advice Scotland’s Big Energy Saving Month launches on Monday 11 January. This campaign aims to help people cut their energy bills and get the financial support they are entitled to. According to their website the campaign is about: “giving people the power to save time, money and energy through everyday actions. The campaign raises public awareness of how simple… Read more »

Pledging to back Scrutiny of Trade Deals


Delighted to sign this pledge calling for MPs to have the power to scrutinise trade deals negotiated by the government before they are finalised and signed, especially as they affect our NHS. This is fundamental to our well-being and to our humanity.