Ash Denham: Criminalise the buyers to tackle prostitution

Since being elected in May I have had constituents contact me regarding their concerns with prostitution in Edinburgh; both the street selling and the saunas and massage parlours side. After speaking at an event in September about human trafficking, I have also been contacted by women and a few men from all over Scotland regarding their concerns about trafficking. I have also become co-convener on the cross-party group on human trafficking. Along with the Scottish Government currently running a Trafficking and Exploitation strategy consultation I feel it a rather fitting time to write about this.

Read more by clicking 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.”



Ash Denham, MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, has welcomed the success of a Carer’s Trust-backed campaign which looked to add a tick box provision for carers applying to university through UCAS.

Young adult carer and student at the University of Edinburgh, Carol Hayward, has been campaigning for UCAS to improve its application form. She called on them this year to include a tick box for those who are carers, in order to allow universities to better support these applicants and those they care for. The campaign was backed by Carer’s Trust; the largest charity for unpaid carers in the UK.

Carol’s petition gained over 2,500 signatures in 6 weeks. Following this, the UCAS Chief Executive Mary Curnock Cook announced that UCAS was “fully on board” with the campaign, and it is now expected that by the time students apply in 2019, UCAS will have edited their form accordingly.

Having previously announced her backing for the campaign, Ms Denham commented:

“I am delighted to be able to follow up on my motion of the 2nd June, which noted the work of young adult carer, student and campaigner, Carol Hayward, by issuing another; congratulating her on her campaign’s success.

“I welcome fully the opportunity this gives to universities to transform the application process for carers, and young carers in particular, who face extra difficulties and challenges in making the decision to balance studies alongside a caring role.

“I hope this information is used well by universities across the country to provide extra support and information to carers and their dependants.”


SNP MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, Ash Denham, has welcomed a total of £7,842 in grants for local charities, People Know How and Orcadia Movement Ltd, from Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.

Every year, the Foundation distributes just under £1 million through its Henry Duncan Awards programme to grassroots charities working in their local communities.

People Know How which is based in Edinburgh Eastern has been awarded the grant £4,500 towards delivery of the Active Options Programme for adults with a learning disability.

Orcadia Movement Ltd, which is based in Edinburgh Eastern, has been awarded the grant £3,342 towards the cost of materials and equipment for the arts, photography and filmmaking classes to close the appeal.

Commenting, Ms Denham said:

“These awards show how Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland continues to be at the heart of funding local communities. I’m delighted these grassroots charities are receiving these funds, enabling them to continue their great work in my constituency. Many of the Henry Duncan grants go on staff and running costs like this, meaning they are a lifeline for local charities in this tough financial climate.”

Fiona Duncan, Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, added:

“We renamed our standard grants programme as the Henry Duncan Awards because we wanted to honour this great Scot whose actions ultimately led to the establishment of the Foundation. Today, we remain focused on funding local charities which aim to improve the quality of life for people who are disadvantaged. This and every year, we put nearly £1 million of funding into Scotland’s communities.  We are proud of the difference we make.”


SNP MSP Ash Denham has told EU nationals in Edinburgh Eastern that “you remain welcome here” after Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union.

The City of Edinburgh Council area voted to Remain in the EU by 74% – alongside every other local authority area in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made clear that it would be a “democratic outrage” for Scotland to now be dragged out of the EU against its will.

The Scottish Government is now exploring all options to protect Scotland’s relationship with Europe.

Commenting, Ms Denham said:

“Edinburgh voted overwhelmingly to remain within the EU – with the highest Remain vote of any council area in the country and a turnout of over 72%. This was a vote to protect our place in the world’s biggest single market and the jobs and investment that depend on it.

“It’s significant that the result in Scotland came after a campaign that was positive about the EU and the benefits of freedom of movement.

“As your MSP, I want to tell the citizens of other EU countries living in Edinburgh Eastern that you remain welcome here, Scotland is your home, and your contribution is valued.

“The many EU citizens studying or working at the universities in Edinburgh should also be reassured that the Scottish Government is doing everything possible to protect our membership of the EU.

“It’s deeply disappointing that the result in Scotland was not echoed across the whole of the UK – but Scotland has spoken decisively and we will make that voice heard.”