Monday started with Oral Questions to the Department for Education, where I asked whether the Government were supporting the initiative set up by universities across the UK and universities in Ukraine, to both provide courses virtually but also ensure that the physical university buildings are still there once the war is over. You can read a transcript of my question in Hansard, or watch it on ParliamentTV.
Later in the afternoon I made an intervention during a Westminster Hall debate on the fuel tax cut, where I asked why, if the cut is not being reflected at the pump, the Government are not doing more to address this in the strongest possible terms. You can read a transcript of my intervention in Hansard, or watch the debate on ParliamentTV. It has since been announced, following this debate, that the Secretary of State for BEIS has asked the Competition and Markets Authority to conduct a review into this issue.
On Tuesday I attended a Westminster Hall debate on the funding for diplomatic staff at the Foreign Office, where I made two interventions. In the first I noted years of stagnating Civil Service salaries, and upcoming cuts to headcount, and the impact these factors could have on the UK’s ability to build international relationships. In the second I highlighted the difficulties a constituent employed by FCDO had been experiencing, and pressed the impact cuts are having on all staff, not just those in front line diplomatic services. You can watch the debate on ParliamentTV.
On Wednesday there was a general debate on Ukraine, and I took this opportunity to press ministers on a case my office have been handling, involving a fifteen-year-old Ukrainian girl waiting for her visa under Homes for Ukraine. She had been matched with my constituent as a host, and is travelling with her legal guardian, her cousin, whose visa had already been approved. I’m pleased to say that following this speech, and some further pushing from my team and I, Nataliia has now had her visa approved. You can read a transcript of my speech in Hansard, or watch it on ParliamentTV.
Later that evening I joined the adjournment debate on the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, secured by Emma Lewell-Buck MP following the inquest into the Manchester bombing. I intervened to show my support for her campaign to reform the Act, highlighting the need for families to have control over their final goodbyes to loved ones.
At Thursday’s Business Questions, I congratulated students at St Ninian’s Primary School in Hillhouse for their Fairtrade curry event for local residents, using Kilombero rice from Malawi. You can read a transcript of my exchange with the Minister in Hansard or watch in on ParliamentTV.
This was followed by a debate marking Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, where I spoke to highlight Rutherglen’s status as a Royal Burgh, the constituency’s previous visits from the Queen, and events happening this year to celebrate. You can read a transcript of my speech in Hansard, or watch it on ParliamentTV.