MY WEEK 19th
 EDITION
27th June, 2016

Monday 20 June

Parliament is in recess at the moment for the European Referendum, but these are unusual times, and the Speaker called MPs back to Westminster today for a commemoration of the life of Jo Cox MP, savagely assassinated last week in her constituency.

So I took a day trip to London by train to join my fellow-members in the House of Commons. Jo's husband and little children were in the gallery, and it was a very emotional occasion. 

After the event we all processed across the road to St. Margaret's, Westminster, for a Service of Prayer and Remembrance, which included readings by Speaker Bercow and Baroness Kinnock, a close friend of Jo's family
Meanwhile, my Monday column appeared in The National newspaper.
Photo: The National

Tuesday 21 June

My highlight today was the Annual Prizegiving at Preston Lodge High School, a very grand occasion. After a stop to admire the plaque recording the opening of the new building by John P. Mackintosh, we were greeted by the Head Teacher, Gavin Clark, and offered canapes devised and prepared by S2. Delicious.

The Prizegiving was punctuated by music sessions, and ended with a performance by the whole school orchestra, including bag- and elbow-pipes, while the the Sixth year paraded round the auditorium for the very last time.

Wednesday 22 June

Back to school again, this time Musselburgh Grammar, for their end-of-term spectacular, Back to the 80s: the totally awesome musical. There was some wonderful singing and acting, and the army of backstage staff produced a good-looking production. Standing in the car park afterwards with Sandra Williamson, Cllr. Stuart Currie, Kirsty Williamson (an ex-Head Girl of MGS), Ruth Currie and Cllr. John Williamson, I decided to audition for Musselburgh Grammar's next musical.

Thursday 23 June

REFERENDUM DAY.

Angela and I were out and about aound East Lothian seeing how the voting was going. I was very impressed by the large voter turn out.
This is the day my column appears in the East Lothian Courier. Scroll down on the right-hand side.

Thursday

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Friday 24 June

Friday 24 June

Friday 24 June

In the early hours of the morning it became apparent that we were losing the battle. By 7.00am we knew that the Leave campaign had won. Except in Scotland, where every region voted for Remain.
I put out a statement that morning, as follows:

“As the local MP, I am hugely disappointed that the people of East Lothian may lose their European citizenship and rights because of a decision made elsewhere to quit the EU.  I worry also for those hard-working EU citizens in the county’s colleges and hospitals who will be feeling personally insecure as a result of the Brexit decision.

“East Lothian voted 65:35 to remain in the European community.  That convincing majority reflects the true aspirations of our county. I will take that as my mandate in deciding how to vote on any measures brought before Parliament regarding the EU.  I will be consulting with those most likely to be affected, including our farmers.

“It is now the paramount duty of MPs of all political parties to protect Scotland’s interests in any exit negotiations.  If those interests are threatened, we should not flinch from seeking alternative direct links with our European neighbours.”
  

Then it was back to business in the constituency, where the Children's Parliament, Fa'side Area Partnership and East Lothian Council were unveiling the Tranent Children's Future Vision mural at Ross High School.

16 children from six local primary schools created the six-panel mural, which shows Tranent past, present and future. They took responsibility for presenting the project, which they did with admirable confidence and fluency. I was honoured to be shown round by Queen Lucy, whom I had already met at the Tranent Children's Gala. Like her 15 colleagues, she is very excited by the prospect of travelling to Geneva in September to take part in a United Nations discussion on Childrens' Rights.



Then on to my advice surgeries, this week in Dunbar, North Berwick and Haddington, where I was inundated with constituency problems.

This week we covered housing, universal credit and carbon-neutral transport.

A swift visit to Musselburgh to discuss the threat to library provision in East Lothian and plan how to reverse it.


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Saturday 25 June

My last engagement of the week was in Aberdeen, where I spoke on the Referendum Outcome at the second annual workshop of the University of Aberdeen's Political Economy Group. The theme of the workshop was The Political Economy of Nations, States and Power in Europe and beyond.
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