Jo’s mur­der has left us all shaken

Rutherglen Reformer - - News from the Pews -

The bru­tal and shock­ing mur­der of Labour MP, Jo Cox, has shaken peo­ple and politi­cians ev­ery­where.

Jo was do­ing what can be the most sat­is­fy­ing part of our job as elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives - work­ing in her con­stituency and be­ing ac­ces­si­ble to her con­stituents.

As a mum and a newly elected MSP I can hardly imag­ine what her fam­ily are go­ing through.

My heart­felt con­do­lences go out to them, her friends and her Labour Party col­leagues.

Be­ing ac­ces­si­ble is an es­sen­tial part of our democ­racy and it has been good to meet con­stituents at my re­cent surg­eries and work to ad­dress the is­sues and con­cerns they have raised with me.

In par­lia­ment I am priv­i­leged to have been se­lected to serve on two par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tees. As deputy con­venor on the Health and Sport Com­mit­tee my back­ground as a men­tal health nurse will ben­e­fit the im­por­tant work the com­mit­tee will be un­der­tak­ing.

I will also be work­ing on the Stan­dards and Pro­ce­dures Com­mit­tee which man­ages par­lia­men­tary pro­ceed­ings and the Code of Con­duct for MSPs.

There has been some con­cern of late about GP num­bers and I had the op­por­tu­nity to query the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment on this sub­ject.

The health min­is­ter, Shona Ro­bi­son was able to con­firm to me that Scot­land con­tin­ues to have the most GPs per head of pop­u­la­tion in the UK.

The gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to work with fam­ily doc­tors and their rep­re­sen­ta­tives to help meet the chal­lenges the pro­fes­sion faces over work­load and re­cruit­ment in cer­tain ar­eas.

IVF treat­ment is an­other is­sue I was able to raise at First Min­is­ters` Ques­tions last week.

Cou­ples des­per­ate to start a fam­ily and who have been strug­gling to con­ceive face a dif­fi­cult and dis­tress­ing time.

That’s why I am pleased that the First Min­is­ter was able to con­firm to me that the gov­ern­ment will work to change the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria to widen the num­ber of peo­ple who can ben­e­fit from this vi­tal treat­ment.

This Thurs­day Scot­land and the UK will make a mo­men­tous de­ci­sion that will de­ter­mine our fu­ture as part of the Euro­pean Union.

As a trade union­ist, one of the reasons I will be vot­ing to re­main is the threat a leave vote poses to fair­ness and equal­ity in the work­place.

Last week I led a debate in the cham­ber wel­com­ing the 42,000 in­crease in trade union mem­ber­ship in Scot­land in one year.

Many of the ben­e­fits and rights in the work­place we all cur­rently en­joy have been en­hanced and un­der­pinned by EU leg­is­la­tion.

How­ever, th­ese rights, which our trade unions have fought hard for over the years, are un­der threat from this Tory gov­ern­ment’s anti-worker agenda – which is why Scot­land’s mem­ber­ship of the Euro­pean Union has never been so im­por­tant.

Fol­low­ing the debate I pro­duced a video for the SNP Re­main cam­paign urg­ing trade union­ists across Scot­land to back re­main­ing in the EU to help pre­serve work­ers’ rights in the face of the Tory gov­ern­ment’s plan to dis­man­tle them.

Please do use your vote on Thurs­day. Scot­land’s voice needs to be heard

I can hardly imag­ine what her fam­ily are go­ing through

Clare Haughey Jo was do­ing what can be the most sat­is­fy­ing part of our jobs

Tragic The mur­der of Jo Cox MP has shaken politi­cians across the UK

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