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Foodbank charity responds to Conservative MP criticism

The Trussell Trust has opened foodbanks across the country. Credit: PA

The Trussell Trust has responded to the criticism it received, when announcing that Scotland's only Conservative MP will open a new foodbank in Dumfries.

The charity says it's standard practice to invite a local MP to such events, and plays an important role in informing local politicians about the struggles their constituents can face:

The Trussell Trust has launched 50 foodbanks in 27 of Scotland’s local authorities. When a foodbank is due to launch, it is standard practice to invite the local elected Member of Parliament to say a few words about the opening of the local foodbank. It is also common to invite other elected representatives from the area to participate in the launch and that is the position we have taken with Dumfriesshire foodbank, which will serve the people of Dumfries and beyond.

David Mundell MP, as the elected representative for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale plays an important role in Westminster and we believe it is important for him, as well as the elected representatives from all other political parties, to be aware of the implications hunger has on the people of his own constituency.

We welcome his willingness to participate in the launch and hear from the people who will be working to tackle food poverty in the area. The Trussell Trust supports a robust and resilient welfare system and is keen to engage with elected representatives from all political parties to raise the challenges of insecure employment, decreasing or static incomes, increasing living costs and welfare reform, which are among the key drivers that lead to hunger.

We have met with David Mundell to discuss these issues previously and are keen to continue to ensure he is aware of the impact they have on his constituents. We will ask that he takes our evidence on the drivers of food poverty and our proposed solutions back to his colleagues in Westminster."

– Trussell Trust


Tories hold seat in county council by-election

Credit: ITV Border

The Conservatives held the Cumbria County Council seat of Greystoke and Hesket in yesterday's by-election.

Tom Wentworth Waites has been elected county councillor to replace Bert Richardson who retired on health grounds.

The results of the by-election were: DERBYSHIRE, Judith Margaret: Liberal Democrat Party - 518.

WENTWORTH WAITES, Thomas William: Conservative Party - 635.

Turnout was 32 per cent.

The political make-up of Cumbria County Council's 84 elected members is now as follows:

Labour: 36 Conservative: 26 Liberal Democrat: 15 Independent/Non-aligned: 5 West Cumbrian Independents: 2

Tim Farron wins Lib Dem leadership contest

New Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron Credit: Press Association

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has been announced as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Farron, who has represented the South Lakeland constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale since 2005, beat off the challenge of fellow MP Norman Lamb to win the ballot of party members with 56.5 per cent of the vote.

The result was announced on the party's Twitter account.

The leadership election had been called after former leader Nick Clegg stepped down in the wake of this year's General Election which saw the Liberal Democrats reduced from 56 to just eight seats.

New Lib Dem leader to be announced today

Credit: ITN

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron will find out today if he is to be the new leader of the Liberal Democrats.

The leadership ballot closes at 2pm and the result is expected to be announced on Twitter between 4pm and 5pm. The contest is a two-horse race between Mr Farron and Norman Lamb.

Mr Farron, who has been MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale since 2005, is running to replace former leader Nick Clegg who stepped down in the wake of this year's General Election which saw the Liberal Democrats reduced from 56 to just eight seats.


Fox hunting vote plans shelved

Credit: Press Association

Government plans to put forward a bill relaxing rules on fox hunting in England and Wales have been pulled after the SNP revealed the party's MP's would vote against the proposal.

The SNP's stance meant the bill, which would only apply in England and Wales, was unlikely to win a majority in the House of Commons.

Fox hunting is currently banned throughout Britain - but in Scotland an unlimited amount of dogs can be used by farmers or landowners to flush out foxes.

In England and Wales there is a limit of just two dogs and the Government had wanted to amend the law to bring it in line with Scotland.

SNP MPs to vote on English fox hunting bill

Credit: Press Association

SNP MPs will vote against a bill to relax fox hunting laws in England and Wales.

A vote will be held in Westminster on Wednesday 15th July. The proposals would bring hunting laws in line with legislation in Scotland. But the SNP vote is likely to influence the result.

The party say it shows they can "wield real power" against an "arrogant government".

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP and SNP rural affairs spokesperson Calum Kerr says the party are now looking at legislation north of the border.

"We are completely opposed to fox hunting - indeed, there are moves within the Scottish Parliament to review the existing ban in Scotland and decide whether it is strong enough. To maintain the existing rejection of this cruel and unnecessary sport south of the border is therefore in Holyrood's interest.

"Voting against this proposed Tory amendment will hopefully sink it altogether and remind this arrogant and out of touch UK Government - which has refused to agree to any SNP amendments to the Scotland Bill and wants to turn our MPs into second class representatives by bringing in English Votes for English Laws - that the SNP can and will wield real power to frustrate their ambitions.

"We said during the General Election campaign that a powerful SNP cohort at Westminster would support progressive politics across these islands whenever it could. Now we are turning words into action."

– Calum Kerr, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP and SNP rural affairs spokesperson

Around The House - Tonight at 10.40pm

Paul Brand and guests, including the SNP's Calum Kerr and Liberal Democrat Lord Purvis, on Around The House at 10.40pm on ITV Border Credit: ITV Border

English Votes For English Laws (EVEL) and the implications from the Summer Budget are on the agenda for tonight's Around The House with Paul Brand at 10.40pm.

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