A young Angus councillor has been told to ‘grow up’ after accusing SNP MSPs promoted in the recent Scottish Government reshuffle of “flying the coop”.
Forfar and District Conservative Councillor Braden Davy spoke out after Angus South MSP Graeme Dey was promoted to minister for parliamentary business and veterans, while Angus North and Mearns SNP MSP Mairi Gougeon takes the responsibility for rural affairs and the natural environment.
The accusation came after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opted to conduct what has been described as ‘the most dramatic reshuffle since the SNP came to power’, with six ministers leaving government.
Councillor Davy said: “This is a case of MSPs letting Angus down.
“I’m worried flying the coop to earn £30,000 a year, on top of their MSP salaries, will mean Angus residents losing their voice.
“Our local MSPs will now be bound by the Ministerial code of conduct.
“This means that when the Scottish Government decides to cut Angus Council’s budget again, or remove NHS Services from Angus, our MSPs will simply have to nod it through and accept it.
“Their hands will be tied to do so, or they face losing their jobs.
“Without local MSPs being able to put public pressure on the SNP Government from the back benches on behalf of their constituents, we will see dodgy deals done in Ministerial offices with less local accountability.
“I hope I am proved wrong, but it seems likely our local MSPs will be unable to fight our corner and simply roll over and do what they are told.”
Mr Davy also alleged that the two new ministers will simply ‘nod through’ moves to further centralise the health services in Angus and the local authority’s budget.
However, an SNP spokesperson hit back at the claims saying: “This is complete and utter bunkum.
“Both Graeme and Mairi will be strong voices for Angus at the very heart of government, and will continue to stand up for their constituents first and foremost – as they have always done.
“Either Braden Davy has no idea what he’s talking about here or he’s seeking to wilfully mislead people in Angus. Either way, he should grow up.”