SNP condemns UK Government child detention policy failures
Sandra White MSP
Friday, 22 July 2016

Tory minister announces move from Barnardos-run accommodation to G4S facility

The SNP has blasted the UK Government for its failures in child detention policy, as it announced the closure of a Barnardos-operated facility on the last day before summer recess at Westminster.

Charities have united in their condemnation of the UK Government’s policy of child detention, with both Barnardos and the Refugee Council speaking out against their actions, calling child detention “harmful, largely ineffective and inexcusable”.

New Tory DFID minister must be clear about future of department
Patrick Grady MP
Thursday, 21 July 2016

Priti Patel must 'urgently clarify her own commitment'

SNP International Development spokesperson Patrick Grady MP has called on the new Tory minister at the Department for International Development (DFID) to clarify comments that she thought the department she is now in charge of should be scrapped as it was guilty of 'wasting money'.

Newly appointed Secretary of State, Priti Patel had suggested previously that funding for DFID would be better spent elsewhere and her appointment to the post has raised eyebrows as she has been so adamant in her opposition to the Department's work in the recent past.

MP hails 40 years of "Inspirational" work of Rape Crisis Centre
Alison Thewliss MP
Thursday, 23 June 2016

Glasgow Rape Crisis Thewliss BlackAlison Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central, has hailed forty years of "inspirational" work from the Rape Crisis Centre in Glasgow.

This week, along with Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP Mhairi Black, the SNP duo visited Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre to hear about their work and the challenges they face. 2016 marks the charity’s fortieth year since being established in Scotland’s largest city.

Commenting after visiting the organisation which is based in her constituency, Ms Thewliss said:

"For the last forty years, Rape Crisis has been doing inspirational work to support women survivors of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse. So much of this work goes totally unrecognised and happens under the radar, but it is vital in supporting vulnerable women in Glasgow from all kinds of backgrounds.

"Getting the opportunity to spend some time with the staff at the centre this week was hugely valuable in terms of getting an insight into the complex challenges they face in supporting women through unimaginably horrific situations.

"It’s a bittersweet moment to celebrate forty years of an organisation that shouldn’t have to exist in this day and age. However, the figures show that too many rapes still go unreported and the conviction rate is still far, far too low. We need to remember that, although the majority – 97% - of rape cases don’t result in conviction, it’s still absolutely imperative the survivors of rape and sexual abuse are given sensitive and confidential support as they try to rebuild their lives.

"The work that Rape Crisis staff and volunteers do from their Support to Report project right down to their first response helpline is absolutely vital, and I very much look forward to taking forward a number of issues they raised with me to day which I, in turn, will be taking up with the Scottish and UK Governments."

New report shows Glasgow is best staying in EU
EU Information
Monday, 13 June 2016

Thewliss with Wee BlEU BookAlison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, has today (Monday) launched a new report drawing attention to hundreds of millions of pounds of EU investment and tangible benefits for the city of Glasgow.

Launching her report in front of the city's iconic Duke of Wellington statue, the Glasgow MP said the report put forward a Glaswegian case to vote to remain in the EU on Thursday, 23rd June.

With less than weeks until polling day, Ms Thewliss criticised the Leave and Remain campaigns for running "distant and negative" campaigns and said that attention in the final fortnight needed to turn to making a positive and local case for a Remain vote.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

"I believe that EU membership matters to us all in Glasgow, whether you're a student, running a business, or just travelling around the city. In the course of speaking to constituents, I’ve been asked by genuinely undecided voters to explain why people in Glasgow should vote to remain in the European Union.

"The Scottish independence referendum debate was conducted at a grassroots level and ignited passionate debate in local communities. Too much of the EU debate has been distant, negative, Tories arguing amongst themselves, and far removed from people’s day to day lives.

"With this new report I’ve produced, I hope that other Glaswegians will reflect on what the UK, and Scotland’s, membership of the European Union means but not just at a national level but what it means for us in Glasgow.

"Because of the EU’s Single Market and from Regional Selective Assistance Grants, we have received over £83 million of investment to businesses in Glasgow since 2010, creating 7,292 new jobs and protecting 3,251 existing jobs - including jobs on the Clyde. That's just one tangible benefit stemming from our EU membership. Other significant benefits have come in education, infrastructure and tourism, making Glasgow a more connected global city.

"EU cash supports businesses large and small from 2,287 ship building jobs on the Clyde, to a much more local level safeguarding 6 vital jobs at Heidi Beers. This gives Glasgow families certainty and protects household incomes.

"When it comes to infrastructure investment, Glasgow does really well out of Europe. Upgrades to major pieces of the city’s transport network were paid for using EU money. Improvement works on the M8, M73 and M74 motorways were undertaken with £174 million of European cash. Indeed, £100 million of funding for the City of Glasgow College came from the European Investment Bank.

"I know that Europe is not perfect – far from it. It still needs major reform and the Scottish Government has made that crystal clear. However, walking away from the table now just doesn’t make sense when we’ve achieved so much."

MP Thewliss backs Carers Week
Alison Thewliss MP
Wednesday, 08 June 2016

AlisonThewliss-sm-20160321Alison Thewliss MP today pledged her support to carers across Glasgow as part of the national Carers Week 2016 awareness campaign, which runs from 6-12th June. There are 6.5 million people in the UK who care for a partner, relative or friend, of which 6,324 carers are in Glasgow Central

The seven charities driving Carers Week 2016 are calling on individuals, organisations and services throughout the country to improve the lives of carers by building 'Carer Friendly Communities' – encouraging all parts of the community to think about carers and do things differently to support them.

The call comes after research for Carers Week revealed that a combination of inadequate support from local services and a lack of understanding about caring from wider society is having a negative impact on carers’ health, wellbeing, relationships and finances.

Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss said:

"Carers make a huge contribution to our society, providing vital and often hidden support to friends and family members.That is why I am supporting Carers Week 2016 and encouraging services across Glasgow to think about what more they can do to help meet the needs of carers and make our communities more Carer Friendly."

Emily Holzhausen, who leads the Carers Week partnership, said:

"With an ever increasing number of families taking on caring roles for older, ill or disabled loved ones, it is great to see MPs showing their support for carers.

"While carers have told us that it makes a huge difference when they are recognised and supported by their local services and communities, too many carers tell us they struggling to balance caring with other areas of their lives. By working together during Carers Week we have a huge opportunity to make our communities more Carer Friendly and make a difference to those who contribute so much."

Carers Week is made possible by Carers UK joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Motor Neurone Disease Association and MS Society.

Thousands of events are taking place across the country this week, and thousands of people have already pledged their support for carers online. To find out more about events in Glasgow visit

UN Launches probe into "Pernicious" Two Child Policy
Alison Thewliss MP
Sunday, 22 May 2016

Alison - rape clauseSNP MP, Alison Thewliss, has welcomed moves by the United Nations to launch an investigation into the UK's proposed rape clause and two child policy for tax credits.

In February, Thewliss wrote to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, and asked the UN to investigate whether the UK Government’s proposed rape clause and two child policy breached the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the UK signed in 1990.

The SNP politician believes that the UK Government’s "medieval" proposals could breach at least five of the fifty-four articles in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Recently, the UN responded to Ms Thewliss and confirmed that it also had concerns about the UK's proposed welfare policies.  Accordingly, the UN's Committee on the Rights of the Child will be launching an investigation next week.

Thewliss welcomed the UN’s intervention and said:

"Everyone knows that the medieval two child policy and rape clause is unworkable, immoral and is now almost certainly in contravention of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, which the UK signed up to almost twenty five years ago.

"I warmly welcome the UN's decision to intervene and shine a very bright light onto this cruel and thoughtless Government, which appears hell bent on making life as difficult as possible for ordinary people.

"It is clear that, over the last ten months, the Tories had hoped this campaign would be quietly dropped but the fact it has caught the attention of the UN suggests this policy is now totally untenable.  The UN probe is a major boost to our campaign to end the pernicious two child policy and rape clause.

"This Government simply cannot be allowed to get away with a policy that is tantamount to social engineering."

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