Surgery tour - Blantyre
Surgery tour - Blantyre

With parliament rising for recess on the 25th of July, there has been much speculation on social media about what recess is for, and whether it is appropriate given the current Brexit crisis.

It began with a tongue in cheek tweet from the account of the Have I Got News for You TV show.

It read: “BREAKING: MPs go off on their five-week summer holidays, as everything’s completely under control and there’s absolutely no work to do.”

It proved popular, gaining 6,600 retweets and more than 27,000 likes. But it is not representatives of what goes on in the majority of constituencies.

Recess is simply a time in the parliamentary year during which neither the House of Commons or House of Lords meet.

While many MPs will use some of the summer recess to spend time with family and take a break, this will usually be booked in their diary as annual leave in the same way most people do in their workplaces.

The rest of the time, the majority of MPs will use the opportunity of not travelling backwards and forwards to London every week to spend more time working in their constituency.

I would be happy for recess to be cancelled in order to resolve Brexit, but I don’t believe Brexit can be resolved without a confirmatory referendum.

Whatever the view of other MPs, the ball is firmly in the new Prime Minister’s court and we could spend the next five weeks in parliament debating it but nothing will change until Boris Johnson presents his plan to the European Union.

Recess is an important part of the parliamentary year because it allows MPs more time to meet with constituents, community groups and businesses in the local area to offer assistance and discuss issues that they can take back to parliament when it returns.

My office in Halfway remains open throughout summer recess, and both me and my team work full-time hours on constituents’ cases and a wide range of issues.

I am looking forward to being able to spend more time in Rutherglen and Hamilton West and, as in previous years, I will be holding a surgery tour, visiting several areas throughout the constituency.

Around 3,500 letters have been issued from my office outlining how constituents can book an appointment to speak with my team and I while we’re out and about over the coming weeks.

The summer surgeries, along with the regular surgeries held each month, offer constituents the chance to raise any problems they may be having with benefits and pensions, issues relating to tax and HMRC, the Child Maintenance Service, and immigration and matters dealt with by the Home Office.

If you haven’t received a letter, or the date and time doesn’t suit, and you require some assistance, please feel free to contact my office on 0141 641 0075 for further details of my regular surgeries, which are held in Rutherglen, Cambuslang, Blantyre and Hamilton.

Details can also be found on my Facebook page:

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