Midlothian MP moves into Westminster digs

MP for Midlothian Owen Thompson
MP for Midlothian Owen Thompson

Having barely arrived at Westminster, Midlothian’s new MP Owen Thompson (SNP) took time to reflect on a whirlwind week in politics.

His emphatic victory at the general election, at which he turned a 10,500 vote SNP deficit into a majority of almost equal measure, ensured that he will follow in the footsteps of many an esteemed politician.

Speaking to the Advertiser, the nationalist pledged to “work hard” for Midlothian.

He said: “I’ve hardly had a chance to catch my breath. It’s my first term as an MP and so there is a lot to learn. I’ve barely got my foot through the door and still have to make my maiden speech.

“The group is still being set up and I don’t yet know what roles will be undertaken. I’ll probably look to have a celebration with my campaign team sometime in the near future, once all this has been settled.”

Mr Thompson explained that he was expecting to be sworn in after the House of Commons had elected its new speaker.

He was in temporary offices for the time being, hot desking it with the rest of his SNP colleagues.

He added: “We’re still having discussions as to what roles will be handed out and where our strengths are. This week has really been about settling in and finding my way around the place. It’s an enormous building and so I’ll certainly be keeping fit by doing a lot of walking.

“I’ve also started the process of looking for a constituency office in Midlothian.”

The steward’s enquiry as to why Labour failed so drastically began as soon as their campaign was lost. Mr Thompson believes the referendum was a factor, as was the positive campaign ran by his team.

He said: “I had a great team behind me. We worked hard and had a very positive message. That was an alternative to what the other parties were offering. People were fed up of the old favourite ‘vote for me because I’m not the other guy.’

“The referendum also engaged a lot of people and that engagement led to higher turnouts in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.”

He does not feel that a second independence referendum will take place any time soon: “We were pretty clear that the election wasn’t a mandate to have one. My focus now is getting stuck into some hard work for Midlothian.”