Wishaw Press

2nd November 2015

An England first and Scotland nowhere parliament says MP

I was outraged this week when Prime Minister David Cameron refused to meet with me to discuss the announcement by Tata Steel which threatens the Dalzell Works. I wrote to David Cameron requesting an urgent meeting after he said he was always happy to meet with Scunthorpe MP, Nick Dayton, whose constituency is also affected.

I have since received a reply from No 10 declining such a meeting. I believe that Motherwell and Wishaw deserve better from the Government. In the past, the Prime Minister has said repeatedly that we would be better together with the rest of the United Kingdom. A majority here did not believe him on 18 September last year, when they voted yes and they certainly do not believe him now.

The Prime Minister did not even raise the question of steel at the European Council and I challenged the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills as he did not even mention the Scottish plants in a statement he made in the House of Commons. The Secretary of State also refused to give leave to Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Government Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, to take part in the latest European talks on the steel crisis steel.

We clearly have an England-first and a Scotland-nowhere Parliament on non-devolved issues.

The contrast between the action taken by the Scottish Government in response to the Tata Steel announcement and the UK Government is stark.

In response the recent announcement by Tata Steel the First Minister is on record saying that the Scottish Government will leave no stone unturned to save jobs at Dalzell and Clydebridge. At the first meeting of the Scottish Government task force on Steel there was a real sense of urgency and drive to saving the two Scottish plants. Work is ongoing to attract a buyer for Dalzell and Clydebidge.