Political Correspondent

THE closure of a jobcentre has been branded a “criminal act” by the area’s MP.

Easterhouse Jobcentre closed at 5pm on Friday the fifth of six to be axed in Glasgow in a DWP closure programme.

Jobseekers will now need to travel almost three miles to Shettleston to attend compulsory appointments an access services.

The DWP has already closed Anniesland, Bridgeton, Langside and Maryhill. Parkhead will be the last to close next Friday.

Glasgow East, SNP MP David Linden, staged a protest outside the centre in its final hours.

He cordoned off the entrance with ‘crime scene’ tape branding the UK government’s actions “criminal”.

Mr Linden said: “What the UK government is doing is criminal. Three quarters of east end jobcentres are being shut down.

“We have made cross party representations to keep them open but it has fallen on deaf ears.”

He said the closures would cause harm and difficulty for many people.

Mr Linden added: “We will see more people sanctioned as more people struggle to get to a Jobcentre and there could be a flare up of gang violence.

“What is being done here is absolutely criminal.”

Mr Linden was joined by the area’s MSP, Ivan McKee and a local councillor Ruairi Kelly who were outraged at the closures.

Labour Glasgow North East MP Paul Sweeney also joined the condemnation of the closures.

He said “Glaswegians have always known the Tories are the nasty party, and today’s closure is another shameful attack on some of the most marginalised people in our city.

“For the DWP, under new Secretary of State Esther McVey, to go ahead with this closure on the back of shutting Bridgeton and Maryhill Jobcentres last month, shows a callous disregard for those who rely on the vital services they provide.”

The Evening Times ran the Hands Off Our Jobcentres campaign battling to stop the axe falling on offices in some of the most deprived communities in the country.

We exposed the distance and difficulty the additional journeys would cause people particularly with childcare responsibilities.

In order to reach Shettleston from Easterhouse people will need to walk for at least 2.8miles or take two buses costing at least £4.50 a day.