If a week can be a long time in politics, it is difficult to overstate how long the past two weeks seem to have lasted. Politics in Westminster has been in turmoil, with the Tory and Labour parties performing u-turn after u-turn.

First came the government’s climb down on English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) when it became clear their badly thought out plans couldn’t even command support among their own backbenchers. One Tory after another slammed the proposals to rush change through the Commons. It was clear MPs of all parties agreed with the SNP’s demand for change to be introduced by primary legislation following a full legislative process. The policy didn’t survive its first outing, with Conservative MPs facing the embarrassment of being instructed not to support the government’s proposal as it was voted down by a united opposition.

If only such unity could have continued, but it wasn’t to be. Labour’s temporary leader, Harriet Harman was next to see abstention as the solution for a party in disarray; this time over the government’s Welfare Reform Bill. Reminded that they were elected just two months ago promising to ‘Stop the Tories’, a fifth of Labour MPs broke ranks to join the SNP in opposing the Welfare Reform Bill.

Although the rhetoric around welfare reform is about stopping people choosing a life on benefits, it is children in ‘working households’ who will be among the hardest hit by proposed changes to Tax Credits.

In East Renfrewshire over four thousand families receive tax credits. Of these, two thousand five hundred are families with children and at least one person in work.

When the budget arrived, it contained a proposal that sparked outrage among MPs of all parties. Women claiming tax credits for more than two children would have to prove that the ‘additional child’ was the result of rape or some ‘exceptional circumstances’. My appeal for a debate on this appalling proposal was brushed aside by the government.

It seems the Tories are doing whatever they can to regain their ‘nasty party’ reputation. To their shame, when it came time to vote on the principle of the budget, Labour again resorted to abstention in their search for unity.

With the House of Commons in recess for the summer, I have a very welcome opportunity to focus on work in the constituency. I have finally managed to identify a constituency office and this will be up and running very soon.

I have begun a programme of surgeries that will cover the whole constituency over the next few weeks, including surgeries at the Bank, Neilston and Giffnock Library on Wednesday, August 6. Contact me by emailing kirsten.oswald.mp@parliament.uk.