The Scottish Parliament has overwhelmingly rejected Theresa May’s false choice of a bad Brexit or No Deal.


The joint motion agreed by the SNP, Labour, Greens and the Lib Dems stated that a better alternative must be found – leaving the Tories isolated in their support for Theresa May’s discredited proposals.


Commenting, local SNP MSP Sandra White said:


“Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, but our interests have been ignored by the UK government since day one.


“With the Scottish Parliament now overwhelmingly against the false choice of Theresa May’s ‘Deal or No Deal’, it is time for the UK government to listen.


“Theresa May’s deal is at this point little more than a hypothetical exercise, with all sides of the House of Commons determined to defeat it on Tuesday.


“The clock is ticking. It’s time for a new approach and to look at the real alternatives which will protect jobs and livelihoods throughout Scotland and here in Kelvin – whether that be a second referendum giving Scotland the opportunity to remain in the EU, or the compromise proposal of staying in the single-market that the Scottish Government unveiled two years ago.”


Claimants face lengthy wait for payment.

Anyone making a new claim for Universal Credit faces spending the festive season without money, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said today.

The in-built wait of a minimum of five weeks before payment means that anyone making a claim this week will need to survive until January without money to which they are entitled.

Ms Somerville criticised the delay as she met with people receiving benefits on a visit to a Citizen’s Advice Scotland office in Leith –  the full service roll out of Universal Credit by the UK Government  began to be rolled out in Edinburgh last week.

Ms Somerville said:

“Christmas is a time of additional expense for most people but it’s particularly hard for families with little money to begin with.

“It is therefore unacceptable that anyone making a claim for Universal Credit from last week will not see their money until after Christmas. This is an appalling situation for many across Scotland and why we have repeatedly called for a halt to the roll out of Universal Credit.

“The minimum five week wait for a first payment is just one of the many problems with Universal Credit, the roll out of which has led to sharp rises in the use of food banks and rent arrears.

“While the DWP do offer advance payments, this needs to be paid back from future payments, locking families in to further debt at the start of a new year.

“The Scottish Government cannot change Universal Credit.  It’s a benefit delivered by the UK Government. However, we do have limited powers to make the delivery of Universal Credit better suited to the needs of people. Since last year, our Universal Credit Scottish choices have given people the choice to receive their Universal Credit award twice monthly and have the housing costs paid directly to their landlord.

“We are spending significant amounts to mitigate the worst effects of UK Government cuts and support those on low incomes – £125 million this year alone – £20 million more than last year.

“Previous calls for the roll out to be halted have been ignored and Universal Credit will be available in all areas before Christmas. The UK Government must now make the fundamental changes needed to make Universal Credit fit for purpose before the managed migration of people on legacy benefits begins next summer.”



SNP MSP for Glasgow, Sandra White, has offered their support for this weekend’s Small Business Saturday – which encourages people to shop locally and support their local businesses.

Sandra White will be visiting small businesses across the constituency this weekend as part of Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is now in its sixth year in the UK, and in 2017 an estimated £748m was spent with small businesses on the first Saturday of December.

Figures from the Scottish Government show there are 17,935 of small enterprises across Glasgow – contributing £7.3m to the local economy.

Through the Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme, 10,793 in Glasgow will benefit from a cap to their business rates bills for the next four years. The planned expansion of the scheme means that local businesses, including hotels, will see rates capped at a maximum of 12.5% in real terms each year until 1st April 2022.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Sandra White said:

“Small Business Saturday is an excellent opportunity for us to show how much we value local businesses in Glasgow.

“With Christmas just round the corner, people should use Small Business Saturday to get out and support the local high street.

“Small businesses are invaluable to the local economy here in Glasgow, supporting jobs and growth in our communities.

“It’s fantastic to see 10,793  small businesses in Glasgow benefiting from the SNP’s Small Business Bonus Scheme.

“I will continue working to support local business and encourage enterprise in the area, helping to create opportunities for employment wherever possible.”


Thursday 29 November 2018


Glasgow School of Art was raised during portfolio questions this week in Parliament and I took the opportunity to ask the Minister on what progress has been made with the SFRS investigation and I am pleased to hear that they are now on site and envisage concluding early in the new year.

St Andrews Day

11.18 St Andrews TorchlightThis is your last call to participate in this year’s St Andrew’s Day Torchlight Parade 2018 organised by the West End Festival.

Make sure you head down to the Botanics on Friday 30 November to join the parade which starts at 6.15pm ending at Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

All of the money raised from the sale of the torches will go to Spirit Aid founded by David Hayman who will also be taking part again this year.

You can find out more about the event here:


Having secured sufficient cross party support I brought forward a members debate in the Parliament this week on bank branch closures, in light of the recent announcement from Bank of Scotland on their intention to close the St George’s Cross branch.

You can access the full debate here: 

Golden Generations

11.18 Golden Generation 5It’s always great to catch up with members of groups across the local community.

Golden Generations is no exception. Established as Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association (GOPWA), Glasgow’s Golden Generation is now Glasgow’s leading charity for the elderly.

They offer a wide range of services and social activities which contribute to improving the quality of life of older adults in Glasgow through a variety of support services, ranging from befriending to benefits advice.


11.18 Adopt an InternI was invited to speak at an event in the constituency on Monday organised by Adopt an Intern.

Adopt an Intern have been awarded funding to take forward an initiative as part of the Workplace Equality Fund to encourage and help Black, Minority and Ethnic (BME) women into work.

They will use the funding to continue their work they started last year to support BME women returners to work and expand this service to all BME women.

They want to encourage a variety of employers to look more deeply at their recruitment processes and practices to ensure they are giving BME women an opportunity to show their skills and are supported through their integration into the workplace.

You can find out more information on Adopt an Intern at 

UN Children’s Day

11.18 Un International Childrens DayOn Friday I was kindly invited to join staff and volunteers at the Barnardo’s shop at Great Western Road to celebrate Universal Children’s Day and the Year of Young People.

I had an opportunity to chat with the staff and volunteers about the shop and the services Barnardo’s offer across the Glasgow Kelvin constituency area.

Barnardo’s Scotland has more than 100 shops in Scotland and works with more than 26,500 children and young people in over 122 specialised community-based services across Scotland.

Their work includes: fostering and adoption services and support; helping children break free from sexual exploitation; supporting young carers; helping young people in to employment and helping children living in poverty.

The shop as you can see from the photograph is now well stocked with Christmas goodies and I found these – particularly festive footwear! Get down to pick up some bargains and help support children and young people!


11.18 ESOL GlasgowIt was great to welcome Glasgow ESOL Forum to the Parliament this week for a tour. The group was made up of learners from Syria, Yemen, Spain, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, China, Italy, Greece, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, India, and South Korea.

They all had a great day out at the Parliament seeing democracy in action. My thanks to Kristen Fraley who helped organise the tour along with Glasgow ESOL Managers Jo Jarvis and Sarah Cox.

16 Days

This week marks 16 Days of Activism and as part of the week I hosted an event in Parliament to highlight and promote the contribution of Everyday Heroes to the Equally Safe campaign.

The Everyday Heroes programme was designed and coordinated by the Equally Safe Participation Partnership of young adult experts from the University of Edinburgh IMPACT project, Barnardos Scotland, Scottish Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament funded by the Scottish Government to inform Equally Safe Action.

Issues ranged from improving services of young abuse survivors, tackling gender inequality and societal attitudes, improve education responses and ensure participation from the people directly affected.

You can also watch my contribution to the Scottish Government’s debate this week here and you can get further information on the Everyday Heroes programme here:

Theatre Nemo

11.18 Theatre NemoAnother great visit this week to Theatre Nemo where I met up with Director Isabel McCue to join in their 20th anniversary celebrations.

Isabel set up Theatre Nemo with the aim of supporting people in recovery from poor mental health, focusing on providing creative workshops that have a focus on mental wellbeing, teaching people coping strategies and developing a greater understanding of their own mental health as well as guiding them on where to get support and how to support others.

Arts therapy can help promote recovery and sustain a better feeling of mental health and well-being, as well as contributing to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Isabel and her team have shown great enthusiasm and commitment to Theatre Nemo and I am certain they will be celebrating another 20 years.

You can access further information at




White Pushes for School of Art Investigation Conclusion

MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Sandra White, today raised concerns surrounding the Glasgow School of Art fire in the Scottish Parliament.  

Ms White has received representations from members of the local community , businesses and community councils raising their concerns regarding the future of the area and the timescales regarding the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service investigation. 

The Scottish Government have said the investigation should be concluded by the start of the new year. 

Commenting Ms White said: 

“ The fire at the Glasgow School of Art has had a totally devastating impact and the effects of what has happened extends well beyond the immediate area. I have been working with members of the local community, assisting where possible in pushing for the progression of the investigation by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service but there are still many residents and businesses who are still caught up in the aftermath and are becoming understandably frustrated. 

“This terrible situation is dragging on and whilst I understand we have to ensure safety whilst balancing that with a full investigation local people and businesses affected by the devastating fire are still essentially living in limbo. 

“The response from the Minister today in the chamber regarding the timescale for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service investigation is welcome and I am certain residents and businesses will also welcome this news.  

“The Minister has encouraged me to contact the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to follow up on our exchange in the chamber which I will be doing.”  


You can access the full transcript of the exchange here: