Members’ Business: Emergency Service Workers – 07/11/2018

I closed a Members’ Business debate on Emergency Service workers on behalf of the Scottish Government. The text of the motion is below:
Emergency Service Workers 
That the Parliament commends the bravery and dedication of emergency service workers in the north east and across the country; recognises what it sees as their extraordinary efforts to keep everyone safe, working long hours in often difficult circumstances; acknowledges that this can include heading towards danger when others are running away; understands that, in 2016-17, over 3,000 offences were committed against these workers, with attacks often carried out by the very people that they were trying to help; condemns such assaults; regards an attack on any emergency worker as an attack on society itself, and thanks all emergency workers with the police, fire, ambulance, search and rescue, prison and other services for all the work that they do.


Budget Speech

Last week, I gave a speech in parliament advocating for our budget proposal. See my full speech here.

“We have a democratic and moral mandate. There is an expectation that the parties whose members are elected to this Parliament will respect Parliament and its processes. There is a presumption that we will engage constructively and responsibly. That approach has been lacking. However, the SNP will not let our democratic and moral commitments falter.”

Politics Scotland January 25th

January 25th I had an interview with BBC news Politics Scotland regarding the budget and and Brexit.


“What we’ve put forward is a budget for growth, for investment into infrastructure, and a budget that protects local services and prioritises the things that are important to people.” 

“Whilst we welcome the decision made in the Supreme Court ruling yesterday that the Sewel Convention is not a legal obligation, we think it is clearly a democratic obligation and that Scotland’s voice must be heard. And if it isn’t, it will be a defeat to democracy.”

See my full interview here.

MSP speaks out about potential loss of cleft palate services in Edinburgh


View the full article at The Edinburgh Reporter

An excerpt from my speech that was then covered by The Edinburgh Reporter:

“The proposals will impact cleft palate families all over the East of Scotland from the North and East Islands, to the Highlands to Tayside and right down to the Borders.  I deeply sympathise with families after looking into the difference in travelling time, especially for families travelling by public transport.

“For 95% the time will be increased, and in some cases will be doubled.  I have spoken to both parents of children and also to young adults who are still in receipt of surgeries, I have listened to their views and as their elected member I have a responsibility to ensure that their voices are heard.”


Following the June referendum on membership of the European Union the MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, Ash Denham, has been appointed to the Scottish Parliament’s Europe and External Affairs Committee.

Commenting, Ms Denham said:

“I am delighted to be appointed to what is likely to be a very engaging committee at this time in Scottish politics.

“As Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, I look forward to putting my knowledge to good use in my new position, to further our relations within the European Union and beyond.

“As the MSP for an area with a strong Remain vote, I am glad to have the opportunity to represent my constituents and their views on this committee.”


Edinburgh’s position to Remain in the EU “must be protected”

SNP MSP Ash Denham has joined with colleagues cross-party in the Scottish Parliament in uniting behind the First Minister’s efforts to keep Scotland in the European Union – after an emergency debate to give the Scottish Government a mandate to commence discussions with EU institutions and member states.

At Decision Time on Tuesday, MSPs voted overwhelmingly by 92 votes to 0 in favour of a Scottish Government motion in favour of exploring options to protect Scotland’s EU membership – with only the Scottish Conservatives withholding support.

Commenting, Denham said:

“Last week, the people of Edinburgh Eastern and voters from across the city made their voice heard in no uncertain terms, with a 74% vote to Remain. I was proud to join MSPs across the parties and across the country to cast my vote in the Scottish Parliament to make clear that their decision should be respected.

“That Ruth Davidson and her Tory colleagues could not find it within themselves to back this common-sense position in unison with the rest of the Parliament shows just how far they are willing to go to defend their colleagues in the UK Government – throwing Scotland under the bus in the process.

“Over the last few days, Nicola Sturgeon is the only politician in the UK who has shown any leadership whatsoever – and it is entirely right that MSPs have given her this overwhelming mandate to make Scotland’s case directly to EU institutions and member states.

“Our national Parliament spoke with a strong and united voice – making absolutely clear that Edinburgh’s vote must be respected; and Scotland’s place in Europe protected.

“In doing so, the First Minister has made clear that no option is off the table – and the SNP in government will do everything we can to ensure that Scotland maintains its place in the European family of nations, rather than being dragged out against our will by a right-wing Tory party, which now finds itself in complete disarray.”