Borders MP vows to use committee role to speak up for region

Borders MP John Lamont has been made a member of Westminster's Scottish affairs committee.
Borders MP John Lamont has been made a member of Westminster's Scottish affairs committee.

Borders MP John Lamont has been given an extra chance to speak up for the region at Westminster after securing a place on the UK Parliament’s Scottish affairs committee.

The Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP was nominated by fellow Conservative backbenchers for the role.

The committee’s job is to hold the UK Government’s Scotland Office, overseen by fellow Borders MP David Mundell in his role as Scottish Secretary, to account, including its relationship with the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

It does that primarily by holding inquiries, and previous such probes have included ones on the 2016 European Union referendum’s impact on Scotland and further devolution of powers to the Scottish Government.

The committee is chaired by Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart.

Mr Lamont is one of four Conservatives on it, the others being Aberdeen South’s Ross Thomson, Banff and Buchan’s David Duguid and East Renfrewshire’s Paul Masterton.

The North Ayrshire-born 41-year-old, elected as an MP in June after 10 years as MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, said: “I am delighted to have been confirmed as a member of the Scottish affairs committee at Westminster.

“Unlike in the Scottish Parliament, committees at Westminster are fiercely independent of government, and I will use this position to stand up for the Borders, leaving party politics to one side.

“I put myself forward for this because the Scottish affairs committee has an important role to play in ensuring the UK Government delivers for Scotland and for the Borders.

“Our work programme is still to be finalised, but we will inevitably be looking at how the Brexit negotiations impact on Scotland.

“I want to ensure we get a good deal for businesses and residents in the Borders. That means getting the best possible access to the EU market while gaining control over farming, business regulation and other key areas.

“I’d also like to focus on the implementation of the Borderlands growth deal.”

“This policy has the potential to bring sustainable economic growth to the Borders, but only if we get the investment right.”