Keir Starmer skewers SNP as Glasgow 'in crisis' ahead of COP26: 'Failure of leadership'

Labour will not form coalition with SNP says Keir Starmer

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Both Sir Keir and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have been in Scotland this week showcasing their green credentials ahead of November’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. The UK has been chosen to host the global UN summit, where countries are due to set out plans for drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. But Sir Keir has claimed the host city is in a “waste crisis after a failure of leadership from the SNP council”.

In a tweet posted last night, he added: “Workers and communities have been left to live and work in unsafe conditions.

“The eyes of the world are on Glasgow – the Scottish Government must intervene to ensure the city is ready to host COP26.”

It comes after a video, taken in Maryhill, showing rats floating in a bin went viral online.

The shocking footage was shared by the GMB trade union as further calls are made for more respect and better pay for Glasgow City Council-employed cleansing staff.

Sir Keir has aimed fire at the SNP

Sir Keir has aimed fire at the SNP (Image: GETTY)

Boris Johnson has been in Scotland as well

Boris Johnson has been in Scotland as well (Image: GETTY)

It is also claimed the city now has the fourth-highest rat population in the UK.

It followed a report by GlasgowLive which declared a “major health and safety breach” by the cleansing workers union with the situation being branded an “environmental catastrophe”.

In response to the video, a Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: “Maryhill Housing Association has been undertaking pest control around these properties. Glasgow City Council has not been involved in pest control measures at these addresses.

“Our staff have not flagged up a rat issue at these properties, which is what they are expected to do for their own safety.

“We empty the bins every four days at these properties and in our experience the bin courts are kept in good order.

READ MORE: Sturgeon handed huge independence boost as Scotland can power itself ‘without Westminster’

A video of rats in a bin went viral online

A video of rats in a bin went viral online (Image: SG)

“How this specific incident came about is unclear. In our view, this incident does not provide a basis for a useful discussion on the wider cleansing system in Glasgow.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are very grateful to all key workers who have helped to maintain essential services across Scotland throughout the pandemic.

“It is the responsibility of individual councils to manage their own budgets and to allocate the financial resources available to them on the basis of local needs and priorities.

“Glasgow City Council will receive a total funding package of almost £1.5billion to support local services, which includes an extra £29.8million to support vital day to day services, equivalent to an increase of 2.2 percent compared to 2020-21.”

Mr Johnson has also come under fire after claiming former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher gave UK “early start” in the climate change fight by closing coal mines.

According to the Daily Record, the prime minister laughed when he made the reference to Mrs Thatcher, whose time in Downing Street (1979-90) featured the miners’ strike of 1984-5.


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More are becoming concerned in the run up to COP26

More are becoming concerned in the run up to COP26 (Image: GETTY)

Ms Sturgeon has led criticism  of Mr Johnson

Ms Sturgeon has led criticism of Mr Johnson (Image: GETTY)

Responding to the comments, Ms Sturgeon said: “Lives and communities in Scotland were utterly devastated by Thatcher’s destruction of the coal industry (which had zero to do with any concern she had for the planet).

“To treat that as something to laugh about is crass & deeply insensitive to that reality.”

And Sir Keir also had his say.

He stated: “oris Johnson’s shameful praising of Margaret Thatcher’s closure of the coal mines, brushing off the devastating impact on those communities with a laugh, shows just how out of touch he is with working people.”

The Labour leader wants £30billion spent to support up to 400,000 “green” jobs in manufacturing and low-carbon industries as he claimed the Government is off-track to meet its own climate targets.

Speaking to the BBC earlier this week, Sir Keir blamed this on a “chasm between soundbites and action” and said it was “particularly concerning” with the summit only months away.

William Murphy

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