Being a new MP isn’t something you ease yourself into. Everything moves at top speed the moment you’re elected and it doesn’t slow down for a moment.
Not that I’m complaining. Being elected to represent Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk is a huge privilege, a major responsibility - and a fantastic opportunity.
I’d like to thank everyone in the constituency who voted in the General Election, no matter for which party. The fact that three out of every four eligible people did so in this seat shows that democracy is alive and well here in the Borders.
Now I’ve been elected on behalf of the SNP, there’s a huge amount of work to do, and I’ve already started. Inevitably, it’ll take time to get completely settled in, I’m working to get my constituency office in place, for instance, so if you’ve already contacted me, please bear with me!
There’s quite a bit to learn - not least, working my way round the labyrinth of corridors within the Palace of Westminster.
They say it takes six months to fully find your way around, but the staff are brilliant - patient, friendly and helpful. I’ve huge respect for them.
Our 56-strong SNP group of MPs have been told about the traditions, procedures and conventions of the House of Commons
We won’t disrespect these things, but we also won’t let archaic rules get in the way of promoting progressive politics and winning more powers for Scotland.
I’m to be our Westminster Group Leader on environment and rural affairs - vitally important here in Berwickshire and this huge and diverse constituency, where our farming communities in particular have been neglected by Westminster and as a result receive one of the worst deal in Europe on support payments.
On other local issues, I’ve been supporting the Jim Clark Trust in Duns and talking to the lifeboat crew at St Abbs who are fighting the close of their facility.
The lifeboat situation is particularly important as St Abbs is a notable leisure and diving location and I want to see the facility retained if at all possible.
I’m working alongside our excellent local MSP, Paul Wheelhouse - we’ve already held meetings with those affected and are offering our full support.
Transport and infrastructure also need improvements across the Borders.
I’ll be pushing for a new station at Reston on the East Coast main line as well as a much-needed upgrade to broadband and mobile phone networks.
One of the biggest priorities of all is to fight the Tories’ austerity programme.
This has caused major damage here, increasing poverty, hammering welfare and stifling business growth. Now they’re planning even more cuts and misery.
I’ll do everything I can to turn things round.
If we can win more powers for Scotland at Westminster, then we can put positive economic plans for recovery in place. And the more powers we have at Holyrood, the more we’ll be able to do here in Berwickshire and the Borders.
I hope you’ll give me your support. Then we can work together to make this brilliant part of Scotland the very best it can be.