We all long to see the fighting stop in Gaza. The loss of civilians is heart breaking. Urgent efforts to secure a ceasefire as quickly as possible must succeed. Having spoken to several constituents on this, it’s clear that they are angry and disappointed, and I fully understand how seriously they take the need for a ceasefire. What I would hope is that people consider why, when we all want a ceasefire, only 125 of the 630 MPs who could have voted supported the SNP amendment to the King’s Speech,
It will not be for party political reasons; we don’t play hard and fast when innocent lives are at stake and war is the topic under scrutiny. When 80% of MPs vote against something that the vast majority of the British public demand there has to be a reason. I’ve tried to explain why in responses to emails and on social media. Whilst people are free to disagree and be passionate in expressing their disagreement, I hope that some will accept that MPs, who want an end to the violence just as much, have a reason for taking a different view.
Last week was an eventful week in British politics for other reasons also. The Home Secretary left her job, mainly because scrutinising police performance is something that a Home Secretary would normally do behind closed doors with police leadership rather than through the national press. Her subsequent letter to the PM suggested he was right to sack her. The return of David Cameron was a complete surprise. He is a competent and effective politician who cares deeply about public service. He is unusual in that as PM, he took a personal interest in every MP on his backbenches. This went beyond his desire to win a majority and get Government laws made - he would ask about family, look out for people were going through a rough time (such as when we lost our son) and he recognised that every MP in the Commons brought with them their constituencies hopes, dreams and a shed full of challenges. David Cameron, as Foreign Secretary, is a wise move. He will add to the expertise, experience and care for our great nation in the Cabinet. But there are some disappointments with the reshuffle. Environment Minister Trudy Harrison, who was expecting to visit West Penwith in December stood down and is replaced by Robbie Moore. George Freeman stood down. He was the Science and Tech Minister, expected last Friday at Predannack Airfield to meet business owners and look at what is likely to be Europe’s leading drone research and test centre and the visit was cancelled. Lee Rowley has been helping address the funding challenges the Council of the Isles of Scilly have. He was due to visit but was moved to Housing Minister, so this visit is cancelled. Reshuffles always trip up important constituency work, but I’ve learned long ago to develop good working relationships with the officials so, hopefully, continuity can be maintained!