MP’s mailbag is dominated by three issues

My post bag, or rather my Inbox, has been filled by three very different campaigns recently.

First came an angry response to the government’s attempt to change the law on hunting with dogs. The government planned to use changed rules on English Votes on English Laws (EVEL) to sideline SNP votes, or if that failed draw attention to the fact that the proposed change brought hunting here in line with Scotland.

When EVEL plans ran into trouble, and then the SNP announced that it would vote after all, the government’s game was up. With or without SNP votes, I believe there is a clear majority in this Parliament against watering down the ban.

No sooner had hunting emails slowed then the Welfare Bill provoked an angry response to benefit changes. Welfare cuts are a difficult issue, particularly for my party, and savings are hard to achieve without hurting the most vulnerable. We managed to shift the debate by accepting the need for reform and a benefit cap, without cutting vital help for those in work.

The third issue is a Private Members Bill seeking to change the law on assisted dying, due to be debated when the Commons returns in September. I met church leaders in the region recently and this was one of the concerns raised.

It’s a debate likely to run beyond September so it’s not only the summer weather that threatens to be hot.