Once again I was delighted to take part in the Spooky walk. Another fantastic effort by the volunteers. I also noticed how busy Kilmarnock was that night with loads of the young generation out and about in the pubs all dressed up. It is great to take ownership of the fact that our area is the only part of Scotland that celebrates Halloween on the last Friday of the month. And big kudos to David and staff at the Brass and Granite for organising the festival at the Howard Park on the Sunday, with free kids rides and face painting. If the crowds were anything to go by this is an event that grow in future years so well done to all involved.
I had the luck of being first in a PMQ session. The chance to set the tone for the day. From nowhere I initially stated “DUP” instead of “DWP” which was personally frustrating. However, the substance of my question was the DWP deciding my constituent Laura Nani who has stayed here since 1984, and has a British mother “does not have a right to reside”. When I challenged the PM on this and the impact of other EU citizens, the PM boldly stated that the UK Government are not rejecting anyone. Not only does she have no empathy, she “inadvertently mislead the house”. I would use stronger words, but this is the ridiculous code of the House of Commons and I would breach it by saying a fellow MP told lies.
Small Business Saturday
I managed to secure the visit of the small business Saturday promotional bus to Kilmarnock and was frustrated when I couldn’t attend myself as I was in London! However, it is worth checking out the interviews with local business people – they are the real lifeblood of our high streets, and even more so when we see the struggles of national chains. It might be clichéd, but shopping, eating, drinking and socialising locally is the only way to protect our town centres.
So the 22nd Minister to resign or be sacked was Tracy Crouch which makes a mockery of “strong and stable” Government. Hers was one of conviction due to the UK Government delaying a reduction in the fixed odds betting limits. She was widely regarded as nice and genuine politician so it is a shame to see her go.
After highlighting my frustration on having Ministers respond poorly in debates, I took part in a debate about aviation post Brexit. There is a Minister for Aviation but as she is a member of the House of Lords, she cannot speak in an MP debate, so MPs cannot question her directly or challenge her in a debate. What kind of Government system is this?!
People often ask me what it is like living in London – usually because they assume I can go sightseeing and/or attend shows etc. The truth is I am too busy working. However, one Thursday I took the opportunity to stay on and see the Proclaimers in concert. They were fantastic, and rounded the night off by finishing their set with “Joyful Kilmarnock Blues”. I can only imagine because I had been shouting for it all night! It would be great to see them back at Killie too.
These views were first expressed in the Kilmarnock Standard.