Published date : 16 April, 2024

SNP MPs in the North-east have written to the UK Government, expressing the "disappointment and anger" felt across the region at the decision to relocate only 35 civil servants jobs to Aberdeen.

It follows the UK Government initially promising hundreds of jobs being relocated to the area - before quickly watering down on their commitment.

The MPs have challenged the UK Government to explain if the decision to betray the North-east was due to "bad faith, incompetence, a change in policy, or some combination of the three".

Gordon MP Richard Thomson commented:

“This is a massive slap in the face and a betrayal for the North-east.  Many people across the press and the media were led to believe by UK Conservative Government Ministers that hundreds of jobs were on their way and yet now we’ve been left with a rather paltry 35.

“It’s just not good enough and shows once again how the North-east is the forgotten part of Scotland when it comes to the UK Government’s agenda.”

In their letter, Stephen Flynn MP, Kirsty Blackman MP, Richard Thomson MP, and Dave Doogan MP said:

Dear Secretary of State & Ministers,

We write to convey the disappointment and anger being felt across North East Scotland at the decision to relocate only 35 DESNZ civil service jobs to Aberdeen, rather than the ‘hundreds’ that your government took great care to brief would be the case.

Last December, the Minister for the Cabinet Office was quoted stating "we are now going to have this second headquarters where hundreds more will come to work and live in the city”, while the Secretary of State for Scotland claimed that the scale of the move demonstrated the Government’s commitment to “the north east of Scotland and to our oil and gas and renewables sectors”. It is clear that neither of these statements now passes scrutiny.

Taken alongside the shortfall in ‘Levelling Up’ awards; the glacial progress since 2014 in delivering the ‘Acorn’ project and the savage cuts made by HM Treasury to the Scottish Government’s capital budget, this is simply the latest in a long line of UK Government betrayals of the North East of Scotland. It provides further evidence - as if any were needed - of the chasm between what your party in government says it will do for the North East of Scotland and its key industries, and what little it delivers in reality.

It is clear that the vast difference between the number of DESNZ jobs that the UK Government indicated would be relocated to Aberdeen relative to the number of jobs now being delivered can only be explained by bad faith; incompetence; a change in policy; or some combination of the three. We look forward to receiving your explanation as to why your Government is failing to deliver on the expectations that it took such care to stoke at the time.

We have also consulted with our colleagues standing in the constituencies of West Aberdeeenshire & Kincardine, Aberdeenshire North & Moray East and Moray West, Nairn & Strathspey, who are all in agreement with the sentiments expressed.

Yours sincerely, 

Stephen Flynn, MP for Aberdeen South, SNP Westminster Leader

Kirsty Blackman, MP for Aberdeen North, SNP Cabinet Spokesperson 

Richard Thomson, MP for Gordon, SNP International Trade, Wales and Northern Ireland Spokesperson

Dave Doogan, MP for Angus, SNP Energy Security and Net Zero Spokesperson"

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