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ARTICLE: A Tale of Two Reports

Last week saw two publications from the UK Government, both of them were unedifying and deeply unsatisfactory in their own ways.

The Sue Gray update, which was supposed to be a complete, unredacted report of the rule-breaking parties at number 10 Downing Street, rightly got a lot of attention in the press.

I’ve received hundreds of emails from many of you, sharing your anger at the lack of respect and humility shown by the Prime Minister and his Government. I am sure it won’t surprise you that I share your frustration at the situation, and I wish I could do more than respond with words of agreement. Rest assured, in Parliament, I will continue to make your views on the subject heard.

The Sue Gray update was a heavily censored summary but made it clear that there had been ‘Serious failures of leadership” at Number ten. The Prime Minister cannot escape this verdict; he is the leader at No. 10. No amount of cover-up and no matter how high the mountain of lies, the fact is that he is unfit to hold office. He said he was “furious” with staff when the story first broke and, remember, gratefully accepted the resignation of his Press Secretary, Allegra Stratton, before Christmas. Yet, he thinks he can carry on regardless.

The second report published last week was the ‘Benefits of Brexit’ report. It was published alongside the Sue Gray report – obviously, a failed attempt to divert the news cycle. Frustratingly, it only got minimal coverage, and there was little to no opportunity to challenge the Government on their supposed ‘advantages of Brexit included in the report. (You can watch my full response here.)

The report is over 100 pages yet fails to acknowledge the catastrophic impacts of Brexit on businesses and households. It offers no solutions or answers. The report lists’ cheaper holidays in the EU’ as a flagship Brexit achievement. Hundreds of thousands of families are struggling to find the money to pay for fuel to drive to work because of the tory costs of living crisis – never mind holiday abroad.

The report goes on to celebrate the fact that Brexit is ‘Saving UK consumers money by allowing them to do more of their shopping duty-free.’ Again, talking up high-end shopping in airports when more and more folk can’t even afford to do their weekly food shop shows just how out of touch this UK Government are. Where’s the part of the report that acknowledges Brexit’s impact on prices; where’s the solution from this Government?

Of course, there was enough space in the report for an entire section dedicated to  ‘Global Britain’. Yet, it is hard to remember a time when the UK’s reputation was so much in tatters.

These two documents sum up Westminster – and why we now need to make our own decisions, here, in Scotland.

I will keep highlighting the severe impact of the cost of living crisis and the energy price hike on your families. I also want to remind you all that if there is anything you think I may be able to help your family with, please get in touch with my office. While I cannot promise to fix the problem, my team and I will do all we can to help or point you in the right direction. Please don’t suffer alone – support is out there.

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