Marking a year since the largest group of SNP MP’s were elected to Westminster, the party are continuing to hold the UK government to account and act as the vocal and visible opposition in the House of Commons.
Among the new intake of MPs was Patrick Grady MP - who was appointed the Westminster Group's International Development spokesperson - and has worked consistently to challenge the Tories' on a range of global issues and promote further involvement and engagement.
Figures from the House of Commons Library reveal that in the past year, the MP for Glasgow North has spoken in the House of Commons on global issues 129 times – more than double the number of times Labour’s International Development spokespeople spoke in the last Parliament (2010-2015).
Commenting on the year anniversary, Patrick Grady MP said:
"There has been a conveyor belt of new faces over the last five years when it comes to Labour's International Development spokesperson and with each new person to give the position a go it begs the question of where the official opposition have been on a host of issues.
"With the Labour party in utter disarray and despair, it’s SNP MPs who are holding this Tory Government to account on global issues and providing the effective opposition to the Tories’ narrow world view based on their definition of the national interest."
Since 2010, Labour’s position for International Development spokesperson has been held by an array of figures that include; Douglas Alexander, Harriet Harman, Ivan Lewis, Jim Murphy and Mary Creagh. And between them all they have spoken a total of 62 times on international issues.
One of the key issues raised by Patrick Grady MP since his election has been government spending on aid and defence. He stated:
“We welcome cross-party consensus on the importance of international aid and the shared commitment to spend 0.7% of the UK's national income each year, but the Government should not double-count funds to that target as well as its 2% target for military spending. We’ll continue to call out the Tories' attempts to undermine or militarise the aid budget.
"The SNP has always been a champion for global justice and our parliamentarians will continue to speak out for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, not just in Scotland, but around the world.”