doc

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 Ten Downing Street and promised to fight “burning injustice of inequality” and to “build a country that works for everyone”.

READ MORE: SNP is 'failing' the people of Scotland, says Theresa May

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.”