The UK Government’s “rape clause” proposals

During DWP Questions today I challenged Iain Duncan Smith to scrap his ill-thought out plans to force women who have a third child as a consequence of being raped to prove this to a Government official in order to receive tax credit payments.

Asking women who have been raped to relive such a traumatic experience and – worse still – justify their child’s birth is appalling and has got to be the lowest this Government has stooped yet.

I’ve met with a number of women’s welfare organisations and rape crisis groups who are rightly calling for the Government to bin these ill thought out plans. SNP action has already led to u-turns on tax credit policy and I’ll be campaigning hard to make sure this policy is the next to be put through the Downing Street shredder.

Breastfeeding Conference

19115 - Unicef breastfeeding Conference (1)This week I attended the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Annual Conference. I enjoyed meeting with various organisations who do excellent work to promote breastfeeding. I am currently working on setting up an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding and Inequalities and I look forward to working more closely with some of the organisations I have met at the UNICEF Conference over the coming weeks and months.

The Trade Union Bill

I met with the EIS at my constituency office and pledged my opposition to the Trade Union Bill. I believe that this Bill threatens the fundamental rights to organise and bargain collectively, as well as placing undue restrictions on strike ballots and social media communication by trade union members. ‪#‎killthebill

Refugees welcome

I am delightAlison - Aye Welcome Refugees 2 - 18115ed to see the first arrivals of refugees in Scotland under the UK Government’s refugee resettlement scheme. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of those who have come to Scotland.

The Scottish Government, in partnership with the Scottish Refugee Council, established an online hub to provide practical support and assistance to refugees in Scotland. I and my SNP colleagues will continue to use our influence to ensure that the UK works in partnership with our European neighbours to devise a long-term solution to the refugee crisis, which should include diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria.

Keep Me Posted

I’ve offered my support to the Keep Me Posted campaign, which campaigns for people to receive paper bills and statements from companies without charge. It is important that my constituents are able to choose how they receive important financial information from service providers, including banks and utility companies.

Moreover, in many areas of my constituency broadband access and uptake is below the national average for Scotland. Whilst the Scottish Government is working to improve digital literacy and provide superfast broadband, the option for paper bills and statements should remain available and there should be no financial penalty attached to receiving paper statements, particularly for elderly and vulnerable people.

Stay safe this Hallowe’en

Fancy dress safety eventWith Hallow’een coming up this week, many families will be buying costumes and getting prepared for parties. There’s also a campaign underway to highlight fire safety, following the terrible incident last year when Claudia Winkleman’s daughter was badly injured when her costume caught fire.

Please check and make sure that the costumes you choose meet the highest possible fire safety standards, and consider using LED candles instead of tealights. It only takes a second for some of these costumes to catch light.

Have fun, but stay safe this hallow’een.

Wear it Pink!

Alison Thewliss MP (3)Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, has shown her support for women with breast cancer by dressing up in pink and encouraging her constituents to take part in Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, tomorrow (Friday 23rd October).

‘wear it pink’, the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser, calls on supporters across the country to ditch the day-to-day colours and pull on some pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.

The Glasgow Central MP joined fellow parliamentarians in wearing it pink in Westminster recently to encourage people across the UK to get involved. Now in its 14th year, wear it pink raises over £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer, and this year it is back and bigger, brighter and bolder than ever before.

Anyone can take part, whether in school, at work or at home. All you have to do is wear something pink and donate whatever you can.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“Right now breast cancer is at a tipping point. Every year in the UK around 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and sadly nearly 12,000 women still lose their lives to the disease. This is why we all must come together to support Breast Cancer Now’s cutting-edge research, and, in wear it pink, there is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.

“I am particularly passionate about standing up for the women and families affected by the disease in Glasgow and I am very proud to take part in wear it pink. I hope everyone in the local community will join me in wearing it pink on Friday 23 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.”



SNP Leader and First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, today (Friday) formally opened the new Constituency Office of Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss.

The SNP MP and her team of five staff have based themselves at Glasgow Cross to serve the residents of the constituency, which stretches from Toryglen to Cowcaddens and from Yorkhill to Dalmarnock.

Speaking after the First Minister formally opened the office by cutting a yellow ribbon, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“I am very grateful to Nicola for taking time out of her busy day to come along and cut the ribbon this afternoon. My new, fully-staffed, Constituency Office is open five days a week and will be the main hub for dealing with constituency casework. During the election, I pledged to be open, accessible and available to my constituents all-year round. The days of Glasgow’s MPs hiding away in the Palace of Westminster are over. We are absolutely clear that – first and foremost – our job is to be a strong voice for our constituency and to speak up for individuals who need our help.

“It is a tremendous honour to be the MP for Glasgow Central and we are here to serve the people as best we can. We all know that Glasgow has its challenges and people need help with a variety of issues, be it on immigration, benefits and housing to name just a few. My office is open and my staff and I are here to help everyone in Glasgow Central”.