Alison Thewliss MP pledges to raise awareness of screening in Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Alison Thewliss MP calls on Glasgow residents to take the bowel cancer screening test

As April marks Bowel Cancer Awareness Month Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, is supporting a call by leading research charity Bowel Cancer UK, urging more people to take part in bowel cancer screening and help save lives.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, affecting both men and women. Every year over 41,000 people (one every 15 minutes) are diagnosed with bowel cancer and 16,200 people die of the disease.

Bowel cancer screening can save lives but at the moment in some areas of the UK only a third of those who receive a test complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the chance to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat.

Alison Thewliss MP said:

“As the MP for Glasgow Central, I am committed to improving uptake rates for bowel cancer screening, both locally and nationally.”

“I would urge my constituents who are sent a bowel screening test to use it. Taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early. If you are over 50, take the test when you receive it in the post. If you are younger, tell the people over 50 in your life to take the test. Early diagnosis really can save lives.”

Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said,

“I’d like to thank Alison Thewliss for supporting our campaign during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month to raise participation levels for bowel cancer screening. One in 14 men and one in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime but it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.”

The Scottish Bowel Screening Programme can detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms when it is easier to treat. Since its launch, it has been proven to save lives. If you’re registered with a GP and aged 50-74, you will receive a test in the post every two years. You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with step by step instructions. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.

Visit Bowel Cancer UK’s website to find out how you can get involved in their campaign for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

Alison Thewliss MP visits NSPCC Scotland project for young mothers

Alison Thewliss MP visiting the NSPCC Glasgow Service Centre

Alison Thewliss MP for Glasgow Central today visited NSPCC Scotland to observe first-hand their Minding the Baby project supporting young mothers who may have experienced neglect or abuse in their own lives.

Minding the Baby is based in Govan, Glasgow as well as 2 other bases in England and has been developed to ensure that young, first-time mothers are offered support to help them develop a positive relationship and secure a bond with their baby.

With a dedicated team of nurses and social workers, NSPCC Scotland helps young mothers to recognise and respond to their baby’s feelings and needs so that mothers understand their child to give the best possible chance in life. The charity has also demonstrated that the children of families who have been involved in the programme require less support services as they get older.

Alison also heard about the NSPCC’s Glasgow Infant and Family Team which aims to support families where their child has been placed in foster care and is aged from birth to five years. As a result of the work carried out with the families, the team provide information which helps social workers and legal decision makers to decide whether the child can be safely returned to the care of their family or if they should be adopted or remain in care permanently.

Alison said:

“I’m really pleased to have observed first-hand the work NSPCC Scotland do to support young mums in Glasgow – the charity through the enthusiasm and dedication of the nurses and health visitors is making a real difference to families who would be at increased risk of neglect without having support in place.”

Dog microchipping

Alison Thewliss petting a dog at the launch of the Dogs Trust ad campaign

With just one week to go before compulsory microchipping of dogs comes into effect in England, Scotland and Wales, I was delighted to meet “Dogcilla” at Westminster.

Dogs Trust are running a campaign which encompasses a cross-country tour of over 145,000 miles to raise awareness of the changes in the law, which come into effect on 6th April 2016. Help and advice on microchipping is available on the Dogs Trust website.

Easter weekend

My office will be closed on Friday 25th March and Monday 28th March for the Easter break and no surgeries will be taking place on Friday 25th March. The office will reopen on Tuesday 29th March.

I hope you have an enjoyable Easter break. If you have a case that requires urgent assistance please contact me on 07825451152.

Thewliss demands new Work & Pensions Secretary scraps rape clause

Alison Thewliss MP joins supporters at the launch of her campaign to scrap the rape clause

As Stephen Crabb starts his new job as Work & Pensions Secretary today, SNP MP Alison Thewliss is calling upon him to make it an “urgent priority to unequivocally scrap the tax credits rape clause”.

Stephen Crabb takes over as Secretary of State for Work & Pensions following the dramatic resignation of Iain Duncan Smith MP at the weekend.

Ms Thewliss said a change in leadership at the DWP was the ideal opportunity for the Government to review its policy agenda and scrap the two child policy and the rape clause with immediate effect.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

Since July 2015, the UK Government has stuck rigidly to its pernicious policy agenda which will seek to limit tax credits to just two children per family. They have been unable to explain how this will work, or how it fits with equalities legislation and the “family test”. Also contained within last year’s budget is an appalling statement which suggests that women whose third child, born as a result of rape, would have to justify this to DWP staff in order to receive benefits. That’s simply not on.

“Before Iain Duncan Smith suddenly found his moral compass and resigned, he seemed to think that this was a perfectly sensible policy; however it’s one which causes serious concern amongst women’s welfare and rape crisis charities.

“As Stephen Crabb gets his feet under the desk at Caxton House today, I believe he needs to give urgent priority to this issue and unequivocally scrap the tax credits rape clause”.

SNP hails tampon tax victory

Alison Thewliss MP at Buchanan Street Steps

SNP MP Alison Thewliss has warmly welcomed news tonight that a deal has been reached which will finally see the 5% VAT rate on women’s sanitary products – otherwise known as the tampon tax – scrapped.

The SNP was the only party in the 2015 election to commit in its manifesto to scrapping the deeply unjust tax on periods.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss introduced an amendment in July 2015 at the Finance Bill Committee stage to try and end the tax but was rebuffed by Tory Ministers who insisted the tax could only be abolished with the permission of the European Commission.Tampon tax in the manifesto

News is emerging from Brussels tonight that a deal has finally been secured which will end the 5% tax which generates around £15 million in tax for HM Treasury.

Alison Thewliss MP welcomed tonight’s news, saying:

“This is a victory for the tens of thousands of women in the UK who’ve signed petitions, lobbied their MPs and kept up the pressure over many years to scrap this totally unjust tax on an absolutely essential product.

“I am proud that the SNP was the only party at last year’s election which had the ambition to commit to this in its manifesto. It was a privilege to be able to kick start the debate during the Finance Bill deliberations last summer and I am glad that this has culminated in action which will finally put an end to the tampon tax”.

SNP in cross party effort to scrap tampon tax

Alison Thewliss MP at Buchanan Street Steps

Glasgow SNP MP, Alison Thewliss, has joined forces with MPs from three other parties to force a vote in the House of Commons which could see the abolition of VAT on ladies’ sanitary products – otherwise known as the tampon tax.

Ms Thewliss has campaigned for the abolition of the tampon tax since being elected to Parliament in May 2015. She initially tabled amendments during committee consideration of last year’s Finance Bill and the SNP was the only major party in the 2015 election to have a specific manifesto commitment to abolish the tampon tax.

Next week MPs from the SNP, Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats will force a vote in the House of Commons which could end the “deeply unjust tax on periods”.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“Now is the time end, once and for all, the deeply unjust tax on periods.

“It is estimated that the UK Treasury generates £15 million a year in VAT from the sale of essential ladies sanitary products. Tampons are not a luxury item – they are a basic requirement for women and should not be subject to tax.

“Up until now the UK Government has suggested that a change in the law to abolish the tax wouldn’t be possible due to EU rules and I’ve been willing, to some extent, to allow them the space to negotiate this with the European Commission, however, there has been speculation that a decision on this will be forthcoming in the very near future, therefore we’re going to press this to vote next week, in the hope we can force substantial action on an issue that has run on far too long.”

Team Glasgow rail against “decade of austerity” Budget

Glasgow’s team of SNP MPs have today (Wednesday 16th March) railed against Chancellor George Osborne’s budget, which they say will “condemn the city to a decade of austerity”.

Team Glasgow highlighted a number of cruel policy announcements in Osborne’s budget which will have a detrimental impact on Glaswegians.

Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss, said:

“This is a bad budget for Glasgow and reminds us that nothing and no-one is safe from the Tory axe. The SNP advocates a more balanced approach to the budget which would return the UK’s finances to a sustainable path whilst, crucially, still investing in public services. Today’s Tory cuts will only heap further unnecessary pressure on the public sector. The Chancellor has confirmed a decade of austerity. It is austerity through choice, not necessity.”

Glasgow North West MP, Carol Monaghan – a Physics Teacher at Hyndland Secondary School before becoming an MP – warned that the Chancellor’s budget is devastating for Glasgow’s young people. She said:

“In his 2015 Summer Budget, the Chancellor announced he would be slashing student maintenance grants for some of the poorest students, and converting them into loans. Today the Chancellor also scrapped automatic entitlement to housing benefit for unemployed 18-21 year olds, which the homeless charity Crisis condemned and said would result in an increase in homelessness.”

Chris Stephens, MP for Glasgow South West, said:

“The Tories have already cut Scotland’s budget by £2.4 billion and plan to make a further £1.3 billion of cuts by 2019/20. Welfare cuts in particular mean that 100,000 additional Scottish children will move into relative poverty by 2020. In announcing today’s budget, the Chancellor has just condemned this city and the rest of Scotland to a decade of austerity.”

Stewart McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, said:

“This harsh Tory budget means that the Scottish Government will see a real terms reduction of £1.5 billion in the funding for day to day public services over the next four years – that is bad news for public sector workers in Glasgow”.

Glasgow North East MP, Anne McLaughlin, said:

“The Chancellor is cutting benefits for the disabled, the sick and the vulnerable to fund a tax cut for high earners. Just last week, the DWP announced major changes to Personal Independence Payments. It is estimated that these changes will adversely impact 640,000 people, a large number of whom are Glaswegians. However, we know from today’s budget that this has allowed the Chancellor to give a tax cut to top earners and pull hundreds of thousands of people out of the higher rate of income tax.

“Put simply, the Chancellor is taking from the disabled to give to his pals in the city of London. The only people who are “better together” are the Chancellor’s cronies because it certainly doesn’t feel like we’re better together for my constituents.”

Patrick Grady, SNP MP, for Glasgow North, concluded by saying the only way to firmly reject Tory austerity was to send a clear message at May’s Holyrood election by using both votes for the SNP. He said: “Today’s Tory budget reminds us why – now more than ever – we need a strong SNP Scottish Government to stand up to Westminster.

“The best way to send a clear message to the Tories that we won’t take another decade of austerity is to vote SNP. Whether you live in Summerston, Shettleston or Shawlands, it’s got to be both votes SNP in May.”

I back small business

Alison Thewliss MP meeting with representatives of the Federation of Small Businesses

It was a pleasure to meet with FSB Scotland at SNP Conference. The SNP have provided significant support to small businesses in Scotland through the Small Business Bonus and through giving local authorities the power to reduce business rates in order to support economic growth and encourage start-up businesses. I recently spoke about the measures that the SNP Scottish Government have taken to support small businesses and town centres in Scotland in a Westminster Hall debate and I look forward to working constructively with the FSB to back small business.

Alison Thewliss MP makes Earth Hour pledge for the planet

Alison Thewliss MP lends her support to the WWF Earth Hour

Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss, has signed up to support this year’s Earth Hour by making a special pledge to help protect the planet. Ms Thewliss was one of many MPs joining WWF in London this week to show they care about the future of our planet, ahead of the global lights out event, due to take place on Saturday 19 March at 8:30pm.

MPs are celebrating Earth Hour to send a message that they care about the natural world and help inspire their constituents to go beyond the hour to build a sustainable future for both people and the planet.

Ms Thewliss said: “Our natural world is precious to all life that inhabits it, but we need to do more to protect it. WWF’s Earth Hour reminds us that there are simple things we can all do for the planet, not for just one hour, but every day. It’s a great opportunity to bring together millions of people from across the world with one united goal – to help protect our planet. That’s why this Earth Hour I’m showing I care about the future of our planet by making a special pledge for a low carbon future.”

Every year Earth Hour inspires millions of people around the world to come together and switch off their lights for one hour in a symbolic act to show they care about our brilliant planet. WWF already works to tackle a lot of environmental challenges – like deforestation, threats to endangered species, and the impacts of climate change – but Earth Hour is a chance for everyone to say they’ll do their bit to help create a sustainable future. It reminds us that together we have the power to make change happen.

Last year a record-breaking 172 countries and some of the world’s most famous buildings including Big Ben, Hong Kong’s skyline and the Sydney Harbour Bridge joined the global celebration. In the UK alone, over 10 million people took part, along with over 4,800 schools, 200 landmarks and thousands of businesses and organisations.

Jennifer Clements, spokesperson for WWF’s Earth Hour, said: “We’re thrilled that MPs have given their support to this year’s Earth Hour and we hope they will inspire many others to get involved. By taking one simple step to switch off your lights at 8.30pm on 19 March, Earth Hour is a chance for all of us to come together and send out a global message about protecting our planet.”

Everyone can join the celebration for WWF’s Earth Hour on Saturday 19 March 2016. For more information and to sign up please visit