North-east Scotland’s new Tory MSPs have been accused of treating their roles like a “part-time job” after they failed to turn up to major constituency events.
Not a single Scottish Conservative member attended either a cross-party NHS Grampian meeting or a farmers’ forum in Thainstone – despite “making such a song and dance” about health and rural issues during the campaign.
A senior SNP source said the revelations were “galling”, adding voters would be “disappointed” at the news.
But a spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives hit back, suggesting the SNP were “indulging” in “petty mudslinging” over the events, which had been missed because of “busy diaries” and been rearranged.
The SNP source said: “Conservative voters in the north east will be disappointed to hear that already their five Tory MSPs aren’t pitching up to do the important job they were elected to do just a few weeks ago.
“With the Tories making such a song and dance about support for Scottish farmers during the election campaign, it’s particularly galling that not a single one of them could be bothered to come and meet with local farmers last week in cross-party discussions.
“They’ll have to figure out pretty soon that being an MSP isn’t a part-time job – it takes serious commitment and dedication to the people they’re elected to serve.”
On May 20, NHS Grampian held a cross-party briefing for newly elected MSPs, which it is understood only SNP and Labour members attended.
Last Friday, the National Farmers Union (NFU) held a forum with new MSPs in Thainstone.
A Scottish Conservative party spokesman said: “This is desperate stuff from the SNP.
“Our Rural Affairs spokesman was at the Skipper Expo in Aberdeen on Friday to hear the very real concerns of our fishing communities – unlike the SNP Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing, who chose not to attend.
“Given the busy nature of MSPs’ diaries, not all invitations can always be accepted, and that is the case with every political party.
“We sent apologies to both the NFU and NHS Grampian and have made arrangements for briefings at an alternative time.
“The SNP should spend more time concentrating on the day job – fixing our under-performing economy, addressing the staffing problems in our schools and dealing with the growing crisis in GP provision – rather than indulging in this type of petty mudslinging.”