- 02 February 2017
Ruth Davidson has been challenged to put her constituents first after the Edinburgh MSP's embarrassing silence on jobcentre closures.
In a letter to SNP MSP Ash Denham, Ruth Davidson this week said she was "sympathetic" to the DWP's aim of reducing costs through closures, offering only a mealy-mouthed promise to "engage closely" with the DWP on the potential impact on claimants.
Speaking at FMQs, SNP MSP Bob Doris said: "In a recent debate I brought to this parliament there was strong cross party support to save my local Jobcentre in Maryhill and others right across Glasgow. The Conservatives however refused to, and I quote, 'condone' or 'condemn' the 8 closures.
"Given there are now 23 closures nationwide – with one of them in Ruth Davidson's own Edinburgh constituency – does the First Minister agree with me that it's now time for all MSPs, including Ruth Davidson, to put their constituents first on such a serious matter?"
The First Minister responded: "It is unfortunate that Tory MSPs are declining to stand up and be counted on this issue, an issue that is so important to Glasgow and for other parts of Scotland.
"It's equally unfortunate that Ruth Davidson herself has declined to stand up for vulnerable people in her own constituency who might be affected by these closures.
"I think it's time for all of us across this chamber to say to the UK government, these closures are wrong, they will harm vulnerable people, and these proposals must be urgently reconsidered."