Progress of Midlothian MP’s Bill thwarted in Commons

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson outside Beeslack Community High School, Penicuik
Midlothian MP Owen Thompson outside Beeslack Community High School, Penicuik

Midlothian’s MP has criticised the Conservatives for blocking his Bill on Nuclear Convoys from being debated in the House of Commons.

A Private Member’s Bill brought forward by Owen Thompson (SNP) set out a proposed ban on convoys carrying nuclear weapons by road.

There have been reports of at least two incidents when convoys were spotted near Penicuik, including one when the weapons were parked just yards from two schools.

In the House of Commons, Tory MPs used the tactic of filibustering to block the Bill’s debate. This is a procedure whereby prolonged discussion halts progress of other matters without breaking any rules.

Frustrated by the lack of progress in the House of Commons, Mr Thompson raised a point of order during the debate to try to get his Bill heard, asking the speaker if it would be more likely it would be heard on “Julember the tenteenth”.

Afterwards Mr Thompson said: “The Tories spent almost five hours debating a Bill on Foreign National Offenders with themselves, blocking my Bill from being debated. Bizarrely, the Tory MPs who moved the Bill then opposed it to waste more time and prevent other Bills from being heard. However, I won’t be letting the issue drop.”