New MP takes on committee role

John Nicolson.
John Nicolson.

East Dunbartonshire MP John Nicolson has announced he will sit on the Select Committee for Media, Culture and Sport at Westminster.

As a former BBC journalist, he said he will use the appointment to call for more devolution of broadcasting to Scotland.

He said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to cross examine the rich and powerful.

“The big one at the moment is the BBC charter. I worked for the BBC for many years and charter renewal is important. We have to protect public service broadcasting from the Tory Government. I would also like to see more original drama being made in Scotland as well and a six o’clock news from BBC Scotland.

“One problem we had during the referendum and the general election was that a lot of the coverage was very London based.”

He is the only MP from Scotland to sit on the committee, which is led by the Conservative’s Jesse Norman.

Developments in broadcasting will be discussed, as well as online safety, arts funding and women in sport.

As the third largest party in the House of Commons, SNP MPs were able to nominate members to join select committees, which are cross party legislatiive bodies set up for specific purposes.

Elsewhere in East Dunbartonshire, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East MP, Stuart McDonald, has been appointed to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

He is a former human rights solicitor from Milton of Campsie and will now have the chance to legislate on issues of immigration, security and law and order.

He said: “This is a challenging committee role with the remit of examining the administration and policy of the Home Office.”

He added: “A lot of this work is very topical, including the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, problems at Calais and UK Government plans to increase surveillance powers and I look forward to getting involved.”