Dissolution Disclaimer

This site was established while I was a Member of Parliament. As Parliament has been dissolved, there are no Members of Parliament until after the election on the 7th of May 2015.

I am standing for re-election, but as this website is funded through IPSA, there will be no further updates until after the election.

Statement from John Robertson MP on Trident

Many constituents have contacted me regarding the debate on Trident renewal yesterday (20th January, 2015).

Unfortunately, as Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy and a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, I felt I should speak out about the crisis engulfing North Sea Oil and Gas, which was being debated in Westminster Hall at the same time. You can see my contribution to that debate here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm150120/halltext/150120h0001.htm#15012054000001

Like many I want to see a world free of nuclear weapons.  That is why I am pleased that the Labour Party recognises the importance of Britain leading international efforts for multilateral nuclear disbarment and non-proliferation.  The last Labour Government was the first Government of a nuclear power to call for an end to nuclear weapons while in office, leading directly to the establishment of the Global Zero campaign.

Following the action we took when in Government, the next Labour Government would actively work towards global multilateral disarmament, pushing for further reductions in global stockpiles and the number of weapons.  This would be done in line with our assessment of the global security landscape.  We would also continue to take a leading role internationally to push for global security anti-proliferation with nuclear and non-nuclear states.  This is a vision shared by President Barack Obama and Labour would work with the United States and other allies, such as, France, to advance ‘Global Zero’, to determine an action plan for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.

The success of past international bans on weapons of mass destruction such as landmines, cluster munitions, chemical and biological weapons demonstrates how we can work to reduce them internationally.  The Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference 2015 will be a key moment for a Labour Government to show leadership in achieving progress on global disarmament and anti-proliferation measures.

It is important to remember how much progress has already been made through multilateral negotiations.  At its peak, the USA and Russia have over 60,000 nuclear warheads.  The number stands at just over 16,000 and it is projected to fall to less than 8,000 by 2022.  The UK’s nuclear weapons now represent around 1% of total global stockpiles.  Multilateral negotiations are beginning to show concrete results.

The nature of the security threats facing Britain today differs from that of the threats we faced fifty years ago.  From fragile and conflict-affected states, to natural disasters and humanitarian crises, to the increase of cyber warfare, it is clear that traditional military responses will not be sufficient to tackle the most salient security issues of the future.  With other nations possessing nuclear weapons, and nuclear proliferation remaining a deep concern, we can never be absolutely certain as to what the future security landscape will look like.

Labour has said that we are committed to a minimum, credible independent nuclear deterrent, delivered through a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent.  It would require a clear body of evidence for us to change this belief.

In the lead up to the next Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015 we want to see an open, inclusive and transparent process, examining all capabilities, including nuclear.  It must also examine cost implications as well as strategic necessities, recognising the importance of the defence sector to the UK economy, and the need to protect and develop a highly skilled workforce.  To this end, a Labour Government will be continuing consultation, involving the public and others, on the UK’s future defence and national security issues.

Local MP disappointed with PM’s stance on votes @ 16

Local Member of Parliament, John Robertson is very disappointed with the PM’s stance on Votes for 16 and 17 year olds.

Today (7th January 2015) at PMQ’s, Mr. John Robertson asked whether 16 and 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in elections to the UK Parliament. The Prime Minister made it clear he opposes the change.

You can see the exchange here, at 12.14.

Mr. Robertson said: “I am very disappointed with the Prime Minister’s position on this issue. During the referendum, we saw our young people play an incredibly important role – not just voting, but being active in the debate and in many cases working on the respective campaigns. If there was ever any doubt about the ability of our young people to rise to the challenge, then the referendum surely showed otherwise.

David Cameron’s position leads to the ridiculous situation where 16 year olds will be able vote for their MSPs, but won’t have a say in their MP.

In the face of the evidence, why are the Conservatives still running from giving people who can already pay income tax and get married the chance to vote for their Member of Parliament? Are they scared they won’t vote for them?”

Local MP speaks out against the Bedroom Tax

John Robertson has spoken out against the damaging effects of the Bedroom Tax, which came into force in 2013.

You can see his speech here:

This is a tax, by any other name.

It is a horrendous and pernicious tax, which targets some of the most vulnerable people living in our communities. It attacks the elderly, it attacks the disabled, it attacks families of all sizes, and above all else it attacks those who are already struggling to get by, day after day.

I am incredibly saddened to say that my city of Glasgow is one of the worst City’s affected throughout the whole of the UK.

Currently, 12,079 people have had a reduction applied. And in my constituency alone, more than 60% of people have lost more than £10 a week. For people who don’t have much to live on in the first place, the bedroom tax has a crippling effect.

More than half of the people affected in Glasgow are over 50, and more than 40% are not in work.

But, Madame Deputy Speaker, it’s too easy for us to forget the people that lie behind the statistics. It’s too easy to forget the Grandparents and the single parents that are hurt by these numbers.

One constituent of mine, Christina, wrote to me and explained her situation. A self-employed 60 year old who has lived in her house for 19 years with her son, who recently had moved out. She just gets by in life, but gives all the time she can to voluntary work in her community, and suffers from mental health issues.
She feels safe in her home, and in her community.

She’s not opposed to downsizing, and she understands that another family may need the two bedrooms more than she, but she cannot afford to move.

She can’t afford to buy the new white goods she’ll need in a new home, she can’t afford to furnish and decorate a new home and she can’t afford a removal van to take her possessions with her.

Most importantly, she can’t afford the £41 a month she’ll need to make up the difference. For people like Christina, it literally is a choice between rent and food.

The shocking thing, Madame Deputy Speaker?

She’s not alone.

She joins thousands of people across the city. Just like another constituent of mine, John.

John is a disabled man who lives on his own. He has two teenage kids at school. He wants to keep in touch with his family, he wants them to be a part of his life, and he wants to be a part of theirs too.

He keeps a bedroom ready for them, so they have the freedom to come and visit, at weekends, stop in on a week day – to just come and go as they please. He desperately wants to keep his family together.

Moving to a one bedroom house would end that freedom for him and his children. I can’t imagine the hurt and anger that I would feel, as a father of three, if I had to tell my children or my grandchildren what John now has to tell his kids; that they weren’t able to come and stay if they wanted to, or needed to, because of this Tory government.

This is the tip of the iceberg of suffering that those affected by the bedroom tax have to go through.

People like John and Christina are told that they should just move to a one-bedroom flat, as though it’s easy. The truth of the matter is that it isn’t easy. The number of people who have to make up the 14% reduction far outweighs the number of single bedroom properties. People are locked into the homes they are in at the moment.

And why should people be punished for having grown up children who live at University during term time, and return for the summer? Why should disabled people suffer because they require vast amounts of equipment to survive?

But most of all, why should people – hardworking people, who volunteer in their communities, who have provided for their family, but who struggle to get by day, after day, after day – be forced by this Tory Government to make the choice between paying their rent, paying for their electricity or putting food on the table?

That is why, Madam Deputy Speaker, I call this an evil tax on those that Government should stand up for and defend. That’s why I am so proud to vote to axe this tax today.

Parliamentary Update – December 2014

What did you think of Autumn Statement?

This month, George Osborne gave his last Autumn Statement of this Parliament. I want to know what you made of it. Did it go for enough? Did it deal with the problems that you and your family face? Will it make a difference to your life?

Let me know what you think below:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.


The announcement by SSE yesterday that they have awarded the largest Living Wage contract is a “step in the right direction”, says Energy MP.

The announcement comes after a poll released by the Sunday Post, showing that record numbers of people have little trust in energy companies.

John Robertson MP, a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, said: “The announcement from SSE today is a welcome step in the right direction. We saw over the weekend that the Energy Companies have a long way to go in rebuilding the public’s trust.

Perhaps SSE will lead the way, and the other big six energy firms can ‎follow their example.”


The announcement yesterday that the Ministry of Defence will definitely award the contracts for the Type 26 Frigates to the yards on the Clyde will “come as a relief to workers and their families” says local Member of Parliament.

Despite the First Sea Lord, Sir George Zambellas, previously casting doubt on whether the Type 26 frigates would be built within the UK, the Ministry of Defence has agreed that the Clyde yards are the yards most capable of building the complex warships.

John Robertson, whose Glasgow North West constituency includes the Scotstoun yards, said: “This is good news for the communities I represent.

“Since the First Sea Lord’s comments in Defence News, workers on the Clyde have been living with the uncertainty that their jobs might not be there. The announcement today can draw a line under that speculation, and allow the thousands of workers and their families to breathe a sigh of relief that their jobs are secure.”

John Robertson backs NSPCC campaign to stop grooming in its tracks

Backing the NSPCCJohn Robertson is lending his support to an NSPCC campaign to help tackle online grooming.

John Robertson is backing the charity’s Flaw in the Law campaign, which is calling on the UK Government to ensure it is always illegal for an adult to send a sexual message to a child.

The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 makes this behaviour illegal in Scotland but there is no such legislation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This means sex abusers can often get away with effectively ‘fishing’ for child victims on social networks, mobile apps, chat rooms, and in online gaming environments.

Now, John is calling on the UK Government to ensure children in the rest of the UK receive the same protection from online sex abusers as children in Scotland.

John Robertson said: “It’s pleasing to know that Scotland has legislation in this area to help protect children but, given the alarming rise in online child abuse, it is very concerning that this is not the case across the whole of the UK. I urge the UK Government to listen to the NSPCC’s concerns and to create a new offence through the Serious Crime Bill so that it is always illegal for an adult to send a sexual message to a child”.

NSPCC Head of child safety online, Claire Lilley said: “We are very grateful to John for supporting the Flaw in the Law campaign. The law in Scotland gives police the tools they need to prosecute abusers who are using the internet to facilitate the abuse of children, but this isn’t the case for the rest of the UK where laws are fragmented and sex offenders are able to, and often do, exploit the loopholes”.

“The Serious Crime Bill currently going through Parliament provides a timely opportunity to learn from the law in Scotland and introduce a new offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to better protect children online, and we hope MPs and the public will back the campaign calling on the Government to do this”.

The NSPCC’s campaign comes as ChildLine, a service run by the NSPCC, saw a 168% increase in the number of children counselled about online sexual abuse last year.

People can find out more about the NSPCC campaign and sign the petition at www.nspcc.org.uk/flaw and join the debate on social media by following #FlawedLaw.

Anyone looking for advice about keeping children safe online, or concerned about the safety and welfare of a child, can contact the NSPCC’s 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk

Children worried about online safety or any other problem can call the free, 24-hour helpline on 0800 1111 or get help online at www.childline.org.uk


Energy companies are failing vulnerable customers, says new report by fuel poverty campaigner John Robertson MP.


Following meetings with major energy suppliers, Mr Robertson concluded that there is some good work being done for elderly, disabled and other vulnerable customers, but there is no consistency across companies.

You can read the report here: Supporting Vulnerable Customers


The report includes a draft code of practice, which would emphasise the necessity to check vulnerability when installing a prepayment meter and reduce the number of days that a supplier will wait before checking to see if vulnerable customers are safe.


John Robertson said: “I was shockingly worried about the length of time that energy companies wait before contacting elderly or disabled customers. Some would wait 50 days before sending someone round to check and see if they were alright.”


“Energy companies are in a unique position to see whether someone is having problems, through checking when they are using their heating. The energy barons make a fortune out of us, so they really need to be giving back.”
“There were some good practices in place, but more needs to be done. And customers need to be sure they will get the best service, whichever supplier they are with.”