A ROSS-shire MP has pledged to battle the county’s corner at the highest level in 2018 as he faces the Prime Minister on a weekly basis.
Looking back over 2017, Ian Blackford, the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said it had been a “challenging” year in parliament with an unexpected general election “leading to many unforeseen consequences, especially for the Prime Minister who expected to increase her majority, but instead found herself having to broker an alliance with the Ulster Unionists”.
It also saw him coming to lead the SNP group at Westminster.
He said: “At home in Ross, Skye and Lochaber I have and will continue to raise concerns such as health care provision, unfair benefits sanctions, tourism and points raised at the regular surgeries I hold across the constituency.
“Now, as leader of the SNP Westminster group, I face Mrs May every week during Prime Minister’s Questions where I constantly put Scotland’s issues in the spotlight – the highest electricity distribution prices in the UK, greater costs of courier deliveries for the Highlands, the fact that the UK Treasury is holding an EU farming grant that was given only for Scotland, the disastrous effects of Brexit on the Scottish economy and the harm being done by universal credit amongst many other subjects. Just before the parliamentary recess I secured a debate on the closure of Royal Bank branches – which will be pursued relentlessly.”
He added: “As pensions spokesman I and the SNP MPs constantly raised the unfair way in which the WASPI women were being denied a fairer way to have their retirement age managed. Other parties finally backed us up to defeat the government on this in the last few weeks.”