Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has accepted an invitation from the First Minister for a visit to Glasgow – but has insisted it be to an area blighted by drugs.
Nicola Sturgeon – in response to Ross claiming she was “detached from working class communities” – invited the Tory leader to come to an area which would be hard hit by the £20 cut in Universal Credit, due to come into force this week.
He accepted the invitation, but in a letter to the First Minister sought to shift the focus onto the ongoing drug death crisis.
In 2020, 1339 people died from drugs – continuing an upward trajectory in recent years and setting a new record – prompting newly appointed drugs minister Angela Constance to describe the figures as Scotland’s “national shame”.
Speaking at the official opening of the newly refurbished Queen Street Station in Glasgow, the First Minister said: “The shame of these Tories – they are about to take food out of the mouths of children in working class communities the length and breadth of Scotland, including in Douglas Ross’s own constituency, and they have the nerve to make comments like this.
“Maybe Douglas Ross would like to come with me and I’ll introduce him to some working class communities across the country and then he’ll see who’s in touch with them and who is horribly out touch with them, because the Tories, like him, are doing them so much damage every day right now.”
In a letter on Monday, Ross said: “I write in relation to your comments earlier today regarding you and I visiting a working class community.
“I accept and I will join you in visiting one of the working class communities in Glasgow that have been devastated by the drug death crisis.
“Please advise when and where you propose this visit takes place. I look forward to hearing from you.”