It has been an absolutely devastating time within the House of Commons following from the tragic murder of Sir David Amess MP. I am proud to have worked with Sir David on many cross-party animal welfare issues, and I considered him to be both a colleague and my friend. He will be very sadly missed.
MPs are still reeling from the terrifying shock of what has happened – actions that pose a direct attack on our democracy. We cannot let those who seek to undermine our civilisation prevail and albeit, with additional security, my Strathaven office remains open (in line with advice given) to local constituents who can make an appointment each week in advance.
As a tribute to Sir David Amess, it was important to attend the one-minute silence in his honour last week at Westminster, then we had a poignant debate about his life’s work in parliament and a service of commemoration at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey. I was proud to then sign the book of condolences on behalf of our constituency marking our respects.
Sir David’s murder underscores once again the need for greater compassion and kindness in our politics rather than the hostility, hatred and vitriol we often experience both online and in person- which can have such appalling consequences. This is one of the reasons I always seek to work cross party for the greater good of constituents, at both local and national level. We have much more in common than that which divides us and should always ensure to act with decency and respect.
I continue my work as Chair of the Disability All Party Parliamentary Group at Westminster and have been increasing MP participation in the Disability Confident Employment Scheme to improve inclusion in parliament. I am delighted that we have now increased participation from 11% of MPs to 25% of MPs who are offering people with disabilities a work experience placement in their constituency office. I will continue to build upon this work over the coming year. As a result of our work with this programme, I am delighted to have been shortlisted in the MP of the Year Awards at the Patchwork Foundation, who champion equality and inclusion.
As COP26 approaches, I will be attending the Youth Empowerment day on 5th November with a group of young people representing the Diana Award. They have contributed to improving their communities at grassroot level and made a real difference. It is vital that young people’s voices are heard at the highest level of decision makers – they do have the power to change the world and we must enable this to happen.
If you require support on any local or national issue please do not hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01357520879. I am also holding a virtual coffee morning next month and my constituency updates will be being posted through your doors should you wish to attend.