Dundee council leader blasts Tory MP’s ‘intervention’ in bid
Capital of culture: Frustration over the lack of information
The UK shortlist for European Capital of Culture 2023 was to have been announced this morning.
Dundee’s chances of being named were all but ended a week ago following a letter from the European Commission to the UK Government informing them that because of difficulties surrounding Brexit negotiations, no British entrants were eligible.
There has been little information come forward since the Commission’s decision.
The director of Leisure and Culture Dundee, Stewart Murdoch, had travelled to London this week as a representative of the Dundee 2023 team, it is understood, to meet with the secretary of state for the department of digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) Karen Bradley MP. Mr Murdoch was understood to have been joined by representatives from the other cities with Ms Bradley, but the outcomes of these discussions is not yet known.
Further to this, a meeting between Conservative Angus MP Kirstene Hair and Ms Bradley took place in Westminster.
Dundee City Council SNP administration leader John Alexander, took exception to Ms Hair’s “intervention”, saying: “This response from Kirstene Hair is unfortunate and unhelpful.”
He added: “Firstly, if Ms Hair is acting on behalf of our bid in contacting the UK Government, I would have been grateful if she had been in contact with us first.
“A press release which criticises and is purportedly acting on our behalf without prior discussion or the decency of contact seems to be more about a PR opportunity and less about the bid.
“If Ms Hair had read any of my responses or engaged in conversation, she’d realise that our attitude is very much about focusing on a way forward.
“I don’t think the taxpayers of Dundee would share her attitude towards the expense incurred. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for all of the cities to seek reimbursement.”
The UK shortlist would have been announced today.