LOCAL MP TO MEET UKBA INDEPENDENT INSPECTOR TO DISCUSS SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS AT GALLOWAY PORTS

LOCAL MP TO MEET UKBA INDEPENDENT INSPECTOR TO DISCUSS SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS AT GALLOWAY PORTS

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown is set to meet the independent UKBA inspector next week to discuss his concerns about security arrangements at the Galloway Ports.

Russell Brown will meet John Vine, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, on Tuesday 3 July in London. John Vine independently reviews operations at the UKBA and last year issued a critical report into the operations of the UK Border Agency in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It said that there were intelligence gaps relating to potential risks to the border and raised particular concern about the way the agency managed the risks associated with people landing in the Irish Republic and travelling onto the UK. It also said that the Border Agency was operating on intelligence more than two years old.

Russell Brown will be discussing his concerns about security arrangements at the Galloway Ports following the cuts in Ports Police by both UK and Scottish Governments. The number of immigration offenders travelling through the ports has soared since both Governments slashed police numbers at the ports. Between January 2011 and December 2011 the number of immigration offenders detected travelling on the route between Northern Ireland and Dumfries and Galloway soared by 145% compared to the previous year. The number of immigration offences detected at the Galloway Ports alone increased by 33% over the same period. Last week Dumfries and Galloway seized over £2 billion worth of drugs at the ports, one of the largest hauls ever.

Earlier this week Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill wrote to Russell Brown and admitted he is concerned by the ‘significant increase’ in the number of immigration offenders seeking to abuse the route between Northern Ireland and Dumfries and Galloway. However, he refused to consider holding a joint review with the UK Government into the arrangements.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:

“I will be discussing my serious concerns about the security arrangements at the Galloway Ports with the Independent Inspector, John Vine. He has previously been critical of the UKBA and I will be looking to see what action we can take to tackle the problems at the ports.

“The Galloway Ports have been hit by a double whammy of cuts from both the UK and Scottish Governments. Since they slashed ports police the numbers of immigration offenders travelling through the ports has soared. We were told we didn’t have to worry about the ports police being cut because beefed up arrangements at the Northern Ireland end would take care of the problem. That policy has completely failed.

“As well as being a nexus point for illegal immigration, the Galloway Ports are becoming a magnet for drug smuggling. Only last week the Police seized over £2 million of cannabis, one of their largest hauls ever.”

ENDS


CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856

BANKS TAKE LOCAL BUSINESSES TO THE BRINK

BANKS TAKE LOCAL BUSINESSES TO THE BRINK

Local Labour MP, Russell Brown, has welcomed the news that Barclays Bank have been ordered to pay penalties of over £290 million for ‘serious and widespread’ misconduct.

The MP has spent almost two years trying to help a local business in Dumfries and Galloway who was mis-sold products by Barclays bank, which caused the business to almost collapse.

The Barclay’s ruling will bring some comfort to those businesses caught up in this situation but for some, it is too late with their businesses having collapsed. It is feared that this activity has operated on such a scale that there is now another banking crisis looming.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:

“For almost two years I have been trying to help a local company that had been mis-sold products by Barclays bank. They were told they would be financially advantageous to the business, but nothing could have been further from the truth and the family run business ended up almost collapsing.

“High pressure sales techniques and blatant mis-selling was the order of the day with these banks. Local companies were afraid to cause too much of a fuss in case the bank moved in and demanded their money. Regrettably, this is what they have done with at least one local company I have been contacted by, which has brought them to the brink.

“During this time, I have met with an ex-Barclay’s employee who admitted that he was selling products about which he didn’t know full details. I also drew the problem to the attention of the current Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, but he didn’t recognise that the issue required immediate attention. My contact with the FSA proved almost pointless and I find it difficult to understand what assistance they were to anyone.

“I suspect that we may now see companies being told that they have to pursue their banks through the courts. However, I hope with some positive intervention by Government and the FSA, all of that could be avoided and banks can be ordered to make good the damage that they have caused.”

ENDS

CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856

SNP “CAUGHT RED-HANDED” RIGGING POLL ON MP’S WEBSITE

SNP “CAUGHT RED-HANDED” RIGGING POLL ON MP’S WEBSITE

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT MINISTER BLASTED FOR CALLING MANIPULATION OF POLL ‘HILARIOUS’

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has hit out at the SNP after their supporters were caught “red-handed” using Twitter to rig a poll on his website, with a  Scottish Government Minister describing the manipulation as ‘hilarious’.

Russell Brown’s website is currently running a poll with the question: Do you think Scotland is better together as part of a strong United Kingdom? (1) SNP campaigners on Twitter have been instructing their fellow supporters to vote, the vast majority of who don’t live in Dumfries and Galloway. They are using Twitter to openly discuss how they are rigging the poll. The result was hundreds of SNP supporters voting on the site within a few hours – with many voting multiple times. (2)

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Community Safety, has described the manipulation of the result as ‘hilarious’. (3)

Russell Brown says this attempt by the SNP to manipulate the result of his poll shows again that the SNP “simply cannot be trusted”, following last month’s revelation that the Nationalist campaign website was operating a scam that harvested the personal details of people without their knowledge. (4)

These attempts to rig Russell Brown’s poll comes as results from the latest Ipsos Mori polling shows that support for separation has actually fallen since the Nationalist campaign launched. (5)

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:

“The SNP have been caught red-handed trying to rig the poll on my website. SNP campaigners from the central belt think they can tell local people in Dumfries and Galloway what to think. By using Twitter to instruct Nationalist supporters from all over the country to vote, with some doing so multiple times, the SNP are trying to manipulate the result.

“The SNP clearly have no interest in a free and fair referendum. The hysterical online reaction from the SNP to my poll shows they don’t believe simply leaving it to the people to decide will give them the result they want. They know the majority of Scots don’t want separation, which is why they have been so desperate to rig the result. They are clutching at straws to distract from the fact that support for separation has actually fallen since the Nationalist campaign launched.

“Last month, the Nationalist’s campaign’s website was exposed as a scam, with personal details of hundreds of people being harvested without their knowledge. Now they have been found out openly rigging an opinion poll on my own website. For Government Minister Roseanna Cunningham to describe the rigging of an opinion poll result as ‘hilarious’ is shameful, and shows we simply cannot trust the Scottish Government to be honest.”

ENDS

CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Poll is at www.russellbrownmp.com

2. Example of tweets from SNP campaigners (many more can be found by searching ‘russellbrownmp’ on twitter :

“You know how to vote, so pop over to this poll:http://www.russellbrownmp.com/ #ReleaseTheHounds” – @ThereWasACoo, who lives in Fife

“Scottish Labour MP Russell Brown has started a poll on support for Independence on his website, let’s win the poll” - @YesVoteDaily

“Don’t forget to cast your vote in Labour MP Russell Brown’s little opinion poll on independence” – @YesEastLothian

3. Tweet from Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Minister for Community Safety:

RT @WingsScotland: RT @WingsScotland: Perhaps not the poll result Russell Brown MP was looking for:http://www.russellbrownmp.com/ < hilarious! > 

4. http://www.gallowaygazette.co.uk/news/local-headlines/mp-slams-independence-website-for-falsely-using-his-details-1-2327505

5. Support for breaking away from the UK has fallen since the independent campaign launched.

Before launch – 39% in favour of independence (Jan 2012)
After launch – 35% in favour of independence (June 2012)

Soruce: Ipsos Mori polls

Russell  Brown_Royal Tank Regiment

COUNTRY TO COME TOGETHER TO “PAY TRIBUTE TO OUR TROOPS” ON ARMED FORCES DAY

COUNTRY TO COME TOGETHER TO “PAY TRIBUTE TO OUR TROOPS” ON ARMED FORCES DAY

SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN EMBODY “THE BEST OF BRITISH”

Shadow Defence Minister and local MP Russell Brown has said that during Armed Forces Day this weekend the “country will come together to pay tribute to our military”.

On Armed Forces Day this Saturday 30 June, Russell Brown will be attending the parade of veterans and cadets in Dumfries on Saturday morning and will then go to the Railway Club to speak to veterans and their families.

On Monday 2 July Russell will attend the flag lowering service in Stranraer with Labour’s Stranraer and North Rhins councillor Marion McCutcheon.

Shadow Defence Minister and Dumfries and Galloway MP, Russell Brown, said:

“On Armed Forces Day the country will come together to pay tribute to our troops. Nothing embodies the best of British more than the courageous men and woman who put their lives on the line to protect our national security. Our service personnel are the best and bravest in the world, and a never ending source of inspiration.

“As a Shadow Defence Minister, it is a tremendous privilege for me to speak to servicemen and women across the country and I am always in awe at the feats they have accomplished. Their unstinting professionalism, despite the many dangers they face, is truly humbling. We owe them a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.

“It will be an honour to spend Armed Forces Day with local veterans and cadets in our area and attend the parade in Dumfries. The flag lowering service in Stranraer will be a moment for the whole community to reflect and say thanks to our troops, who have served our country with such distinction.”

ENDS

CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856

NOTES TO EDITORS

Attached – Photo of Russell Brown beside the memorial statue to the Royal Tank Regiment near the Ministry of Defence.

TORY GOVERNMENT FORCED TO U-TURN ON FUEL DUTY RISE

TORY GOVERNMENT FORCED TO U-TURN ON FUEL DUTY RISE

The Tory-led Government has been forced to u-turn on plans to increase fuel duty in August, following moves by Labour MPs to push the issue to a vote next week.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:

“Postponing the fuel duty rise is the right decision, which is why the last Labour Government did the same when times were tough. It would have crippled local families, pensioners and businesses who are already at breaking point.

“I have been inundated by constituents saying they simply could not afford the 3p per litre increase. In a rural area like ours a car is a necessity for many people to get to work and do the school run, but local people are being priced off the road.

“It shows out of touch this Tory Government is that they were determined to press ahead with the fuel duty hike until Labour threatened a vote in Parliament. This climb down is better late than never and is the latest in a series of u-turns from a Government that seems to lurch from one crisis to the next. Now they need to go further to help local people, because they are still putting taxes up for pensioners while cutting tax for millionaires.”

ENDS

CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856