It’s recess! But fear not – if you were looking to find out what’s happening in politics this week, you’ve come to the right place. While output from the Scottish Parliament will be minimal, Westminster has launched itself back into session with gusto. Already today we’ve had three former giants of the political world – Vince Cable, Michael Heseltine and George Osborne – appearing before the Business, Innovation & Skills Committee and Ian Hislop is back before Parliament to give evidence on the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments. If that’s all a little too UK-centric, over in the other place the Financial Exclusion Committee took evidence from the Chief Executive of Young Scot as part of a wider panel on financial exclusion this morning.
The crux of the action will be on Wednesday though, where we’ll see Scottish Questions take place. There’s no prizes for guessing that questions from the SNP are set to focus on Brexit but Conservative and Northern Irish MPs will add a little variety to the session – we can expect to cover welfare powers, public finances, the North Sea, steel and business support as well. After that we’ll have the first PMQs after the UK party conferences and an opposition debate focused on the need for parliamentary scrutiny of the Brexit process.
Tomorrow morning, the Women & Equalities Committee has arranged a session on women in the Commons after the 2020 election with the opposition party leaders and Chair of the Conservative party. Unusually, Angus Robertson won’t the only SNP MP giving evidence before a committee tomorrow as Pete Wishart is at the Procedure Committee in his role as SNP Shadow Leader of the House to discuss scrutiny of the Government’s supply estimates and the impact of EVEL.
I wouldn’t delve too closely into Thursday’s business if your interest in Westminster is focused on Scottish issues, although a quick glance might suggest that Boris Johnson’s appearance before the Foreign Affairs Committee could be a good one to watch!
North of the Tweed, politicos from across Scotland – and a great many from London – will be descending on Glasgow for the SNP Conference. If you’re lucky enough to have a relatively free schedule for the event, pop into the hall at 10:30 and you should see the announcement of the party’s new deputy leader and the opening address from the First Minister (who’ll also close conference on Saturday afternoon). I’d also tip the final resolution of Saturday morning (all going to schedule) on decriminalising cannabis to be an interesting one at a conference where otherwise discussions in the main hall should be pretty uncontroversial. Having said that, there’s topical and emergency sessions planned for each afternoon, to be announced on the day.
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