Last week marked 5 years since I was first elected to serve Banff and Buchan as your Member of Parliament.
Throughout the rollercoaster of domestic and global events I have strived to be accessible to my constituents – even throughout the Covid pandemic.
And it continues to be my genuine honour and privilege to serve the people and communities of Banff and Buchan.
Whatever happens in and around Parliament, it has been and will always be a priority formyself and my team to focus on the needs of my constituents.
This week marks 40 years since the end of the Falklands war and I was honoured to attend a commemoration event last week attended by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.
In 1982, a military dictatorship resorted to brute force to exert its will on a smaller neighbour,but was pushed back by the steadfast determination and resolute will of Falklanders and the British Armed Forces to defend democracy and freedom.
So, this is a timely reminder of why we should continue our support for Ukraine – another sovereign democracy being attacked by a larger neighbour.
I am proud that the righteous legacy of the Falklands endures and that the UK leads Europe in the support of Ukraine and democracy today.
Back at home, petrol prices are really starting to squeeze motorists, with the average cost of filling a tank now topping £100.
I welcomed the 5p cut in fuel duty announced by the Chancellor earlier this year, but since then, that cut has been superseded by the ever-increasing wholesale prices.
However, it has been suggested that some retailers are not always passing this cut on to motorists.
So, I am glad to report that UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng has written to the Competition and Markets Authority, urging them to review the fuel market and its effects on consumer interests.
Green and SNP Ministers, based in the Central Belt would have us abandon our cars completely – which is reflected in a woeful lack of investment in our road infrastructure
I can see how they might be tempted to think this way.
When I am in London, it is easy to imagine managing without a car, but less so when I am back in my mainly rural constituency
For highly car-dependent businesses like driving schools, increases in fuel prices willinevitably have to be passed on to the customers who themselves are often younger or on lower incomes.
Therefore, I have written to the Chancellor to ask what further measures can be taken by the UK Government to tackle these costs.
I was disappointed last week to learn that the Scottish Government have so far declined to join the UK Government in developing legislation to allow gene editing (or precision breeding) techniques in food production.
Although welcomed by food scientists and the National Farmers Union for Scotland, it seems that the SNP have chosen to deny this opportunity, in the interest of maintaining alignment with the EU.
To be clear, gene editing is different from genetic modification, because it does not result in the introduction of DNA from other species and creates new varieties similar to those that could be produced more slowly by natural breeding processes
It’s a shame that the SNP have once again put ideological priorities ahead of the interests of Scottish agriculture