Christmas Adjournment — [David Hanson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:58 pm on 20th December 2018.

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Photo of Marion Fellows Marion Fellows SNP Whip, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation) 3:58 pm, 20th December 2018

I thank the hon. Gentleman. He spoke about the dangers that some young people, in particular, are going through as a result of using it. He really wants the drug to be reviewed and perhaps its use halted, to save people from the horrendous symptoms that they can experience.

John Grogan spoke about rugby league. Yes, I remember it when I was growing up; I remember Eddie Wareing and Keighley in their heyday. I know that he spoke about other things, too, but I really have to move on.

Bob Blackman gave us a very sobering reflection on religious freedom and how important it is in this country. He talked about Jainism, about Sikhs and about the problem of getting religious information on censuses.

I was quite horrified to hear about the wildcats on “Good Morning Scotland” this morning. As Martin Whitfield said, they have been interbreeding with feral cats, which is an animal welfare issue. He also talked about Brexit and universal credit.

Martin Vickers gave a great summary of the previous speakers; he was probably much better at that than I am. I am grateful to him, in that respect, because I have been able to rush through some of the others. He also spoke very knowledgably about the work of his two local authorities, as well as speaking about Humber ports and direct rail connections.

Rachael Maskell spoke about post offices. As Members will know, I have a personal interest in them, having lost my own post office. The post office in Wishaw was closed for three weeks, because it was not possible to get another person to take over the sub-postmastership, which caused my constituents great suffering. She also spoke about NHS land and what happens to it, which is another real issue, as did Jeremy Lefroy, who also talked about drones. I cannot get an earlier flight from London City airport because what has happened at London Gatwick has had an impact right across the United Kingdom; it is really serious. He also talked about work overseas, especially in Africa, and I am grateful to him for some of the knowledge he gave me that I did not have beforehand.

I seriously hope that I have not missed anyone out. I will move on to Mr Sweeney, who has had a very interesting time since he became an MP. He cut right through a number of things. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the Glasgow School of Art, which is in the constituency of my hon. Friend Alison Thewliss. His own constituency has the famous St Rollox rail works, which I know. My husband took me to Springburn on our honeymoon, to show me where he had been born and lived. However, when we turned the corner, we found that the building he had been born in had been demolished. I make light of it, but there is Springburn Museum for the hon. Gentleman’s delectation and delight, in which there is a picture of my husband on coronation day in 1953, watching his sisters in a race to celebrate the Queen’s coronation. I will not mention where I was then.

With your indulgence, Mr Robertson, I will mention my own constituency of Motherwell and Wishaw, of which I am extremely proud. It is a haven for refugees and has been since 1919. The first group that I can remember are the Lithuanian refugees who came over after the first world war. There have also been Polish refugees and, more recently, Congolese refugees, who were taken to Motherwell, and the Syrian refugees, who have also been placed and welcomed in my constituency. Indeed, when there was a move by some right-wing organisations to demonstrate against refugees being settled in Wishaw, I am very proud to say that many citizens of Wishaw stood at the bottom cross in Wishaw and campaigned for the refugees’ successful integration, which I believe is really happening. In Motherwell and Wishaw, when children of refugees go to school and meet local children, it becomes a real exercise in getting along together.

I will also talk a bit about what I did as an MP when I was first elected in 2015. We saw a need and we set up the Poverty Action Network, because we knew there were lots of local organisations fighting poverty and we wanted to bring them together and facilitate the exchange of ideas. We have the Basics food bank; St Vincent de Paul; Lanarkshire Links; Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire; Scottish Action for Mental Health; Neighbourhood Networks; Made4U in ML2; Citizens Advice; Motherwell Baptist Church; Safeguarding Communities—Reducing Offending, or Sacro; Women’s Aid; Routes to Work; Big Lottery Fund; Christians Against Poverty; The Haven; Lanarkshire Community Food and Health Partnership; North Lanarkshire Disability Forum; Alzheimer Scotland; Getting Better Together; NL Leisure; Motherwell Football Club Community Trust, because Motherwell is now a community-owned football club; Families Against Murder and Suicide; Chris’s House, which helps families who have suffered the suicide of a family member; Lanarkshire Cancer Care Trust, to which I am especially grateful as it transported my late husband to a hospice on a weekly basis; Community Care Scotland; North Lanarkshire Carers Together; Wishaw, Murdostoun and Fortissat Community Forum; South Wishaw Parish Church; Miracle Foundation, which provides parties and support for young children who have lost parents or other close relatives; Lanarkshire Baby Bank; One Parent Families Scotland; the Welfare Rights Team in North Lanarkshire Council; North Lanarkshire Partnership; Scottish Welfare Fund; NHS Lanarkshire; and Police Scotland, especially the police based in Motherwell.