Monday began with Oral Questions to the Secretary of State for Defence. I took the opportunity to question the Minister about the availability and suitability of translators for UK and Ukraine training exercises. You can find a transcript of my query here in Hansard or watch it on ParliamentTv.
Wednesday kicked off with a Westminster Hall debate on the effect of the war in Ukraine on UK farming and food production. Here I made two interventions. Firstly, to raise concerns regarding the reduction in seasonal workers coming from Ukraine and the knock-on impact this will have on the farming sector. Then to ask what was being done to tackle food insecurity due to issues with global supply chains. You may find transcripts of my questions here and here in Hansard, or watch here and here on ParliamentTv.
This was followed by a Ministerial Statement on the Government’s response to the unprecedented heatwave this week. Here I took the opportunity to thank the fire services for their response to wildfires across the UK. I also expressed my condolences to the families of those who had died after getting into difficulties in bodies of water and asked the Minister about supporting relevant organisations to help raise awareness of the dangers of open water swimming. You can find a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
In the afternoon there was a second Westminster Hall debate, this time to discuss Antisocial Awareness Week. I made three contributions here. First I highlighted the recent issues with youth disorder in Rutherglen and Burnside. I also praised Cambuslang Community Council’s initiative to brighten the area with colourful murals, taking pride in their local area to deter graffiti. Finally, I asked about how better resourcing and funding for addiction services in communities might help address anti-social behaviour, which is closely linked to poverty levels. You can watch the whole debate here on ParliamentTv.
Thursday was very busy with it being the final day before Summer Recess. It began with Oral Questions to the Department of International Trade. Here I drew attention to concerns raised by environmental campaigners, that joining the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) would put our deforestation commitments in jeopardy. I then asked the Minister what assurances can be provided that future trade deals will not put our environmental obligations at risk. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
I was also able to ask a question regarding the reduction in UK food exports to the EU since Brexit and what Ministers planned to do to protect and promote UK businesses in future trade deals. You can read a transcript of my question and the response here in Hansard, or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
This was followed by an Urgent Question relating to the High Court ruling on the Government’s Net Zero Strategy. I asked the Minister, The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, about what measures would be put in place to ensure that future calculations used to advise important national policy were thoroughly checked and informed by expert bodies. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard, or watch it on ParliamentTv.
Business Questions came next and I raised the matter of the contaminated brownfield site, Shawfield. The local authority have made a bid for additional finances from the levelling-up fund, which I am keen to see succeed. So, I asked the Leader of the House if the Government could provide us with an update on the fund when we return in September. You may read a transcript of my question here in Hansard, or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
That afternoon there was a Commons debate on human rights abuse, corruption and sanctions by the UK. Here I had the opportunity to give a speech emphasising the UK’s important role in upholding human rights around the world and also to highlight the actions of countries with a history of minority persecution. You can read a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard, or watch it here in ParliamentTv.
The Sir David Amess Summer Adjournment Debate took place later that afternoon. I took the chance to pay tribute to our late colleague, Sir David Amess, and his excellent contributions to previous Adjournment debates. I went on to summarise some of the challenges facing the UK today and the important work that my office and I have done over the last six months. In addition to this, I paid tribute to my team, House staff and the people of my constituency. You can read a transcript of my contribution here and here in Hansard and here on ParliamentTv.