A: SORRY, TOOBUSY

Evening Times - - FRONT PAGE - By STE­WART PATER­SON

Q: Dear Prime Min­is­ter, will you come to Glas­gow to wit­ness the burn­ing in­jus­tice in our so­ci­ety?

Po­lit­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent THERESA May has knocked back a re­quest to visit Glas­gow’s East End to see poverty first hand be­cause she is ‘too busy’.

The Prime Min­is­ter was in­vited to the city by Glas­gow East SNP MP, David Lin­den, who said the re­jec­tion was an “in­sult to the city”.

Mr Lin­den wanted the Con­ser­va­tive leader to see the im­pact Tory poli­cies like wel­fare cuts and aus­ter­ity was hav­ing on the day to day lives of peo­ple strug­gling to cope with low in­come, in­se­cure em­ploy­ment, un­em­ploy­ment and ben­e­fit cuts.

The Evening Times re­ported in July how the MP sent a let­ter to the Prime Min­is­ter in which he re­minded her of her speech on be­com­ing Prime Min­is­ter when she stood out­side 10 Down­ing Street and promised to fight “burn­ing in­jus­tice of in­equal­ity” and to “build a coun­try that works for ev­ery­one”.

He in­vited her to come to Easter­house and other com­mu­ni­ties, where he said in­equal­ity had not been re­duced.

The Prime Min­is­ter how­ever, through her as­sis­tant pri­vate sec­re­tary, Chris Gray writ­ing on her be­half, replied that she was too busy to come to Glas­gow.

She said she was un­able to ac­cept “due to pres­sures on her di­ary”.

The let­ter be­gan by at­tempt­ing to jus­tify wel­fare re­forms and other ben­e­fit and pen­sion changes.

Mr Lin­den said the re­sponse was “woe­ful”.

He said: “This pa­thetic re­sponse from the Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fice is frankly an in­sult to the city of Glas­gow.

“Theresa May likes to talk a good game on tack­ling the burn­ing in­jus­tices of our so­ci­ety – yet when in­vited to see it first-hand her­self, she not only re­jects the op­por­tu­nity to visit but worse still, she doesn’t even have the courage to re­ply to my let­ter and de­fend her own Gov­ern­ment’s poli­cies, which have moved more chil­dren into poverty and heaped fur­ther mis­ery on those with dis­abil­i­ties.”

Mr Lin­den said her di­ary al­lows her to visit other more af­flu­ent and Con­ser­va­tive vot­ing ar­eas at the re­quest of Tory MPs. He added: “This in­sult of a re­ply leads me to con­clude that Theresa May is only in­ter­ested in sav­ing her own skin within the Tory party, rather than com­ing to Glas­gow and truly build­ing a coun­try that works for ev­ery­one”.

Ste­wart McDon­ald, Glas­gow South MP, has in­vited cab­i­net min­is­ters to Glas­gow over Job­cen­tre clo­sures and got the same neg­a­tive re­sponse.

He said: “One won­ders what the Prime Min­is­ter and her cab­i­net fear from a visit to Glas­gow.

“They think the Tories are resur­gent in Scot­land so they should come and see the im­pact of their poli­cies.

“They should have the spine to get out of the ivory tower and see what life is like for the or­di­nary peo­ple of Glas­gow.”

Chris Stephens, Glas­gow South West SNP MP, also cam­paigned on Job­cen­tres and ship­build­ing in which the Tories were ac­cused of be­tray­ing the Clyde last week.

He said: “She should ac­cept an in­vi­ta­tion to visit some food­banks in the city.”

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May was in­vited by SNP MP David Lin­den, in­set, to visit Glas­gow’s East End

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