Nicola Sturgeon shamed as Glasgow bin strike goes ahead during COP26

Nicola Sturgeon pushes independence again at COP 26

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Opponents say the SNP leader has “let the city down badly on the international stage” at such an important time. They accuse the party of busying itself with playing politics rather than working to resolve the day-to-day issues affecting people’s lives.

Ms Sturgeon used events leading up to the COP26 climate conference to distance Scotland’s climate action from that of the rest of the UK, insisting that Scotland will one day be an independent country.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross accused the SNP leader of pushing her own “selfish agenda” rather than focusing on the issue of the day.

Susan Aitken, the SNP leader of Glasgow City Council, attempted to play-down reports of major rat problems in the city late last month, saying “all cities have rats”.

Ms Aitken criticised former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – who left office in 1990 and died in 2013 – for current “challenges” facing the city.

Scottish Tory MSP Annie Wells said: “Instead of dealing with Glasgow’s cleansing issues, Susan Aitken and the SNP-led City Council have offered nothing but far-fetched excuses, for weeks.”

Ms Aitken is likely to have further angered some Glaswegian workers when she talked last month about reports of staff seeking hospital treatment after coming across rats while on the job.

She described these as “small incidents”, noting that any contact with rats was “very minor”.

Ms Wells, who represents the Glasgow region, has told Express.co.uk that this politicking by SNP officials has not only let down residents of the city but has damaged the country’s image on the world stage.

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“With the eyes of the world on Glasgow for COP26, it is an embarrassing failure of leadership that the SNP have been unable to avert these strikes,” Ms Wells said.

“Glasgow residents are already having to put up with a great deal of disruption during the summit – and these strikes will only make life more difficult for ordinary Glaswegians.”

GMB Scotland has announced strike action among its refuse staff members in Glasgow over issues with conditions and pay, at the same time as COP26 delegates are meeting in the city.

Along with the latest bin strike, Glaswegians have faced major disruption in the run-up to the climate conference, with hundreds having face-to-face hospital appointments cancelled or rescheduled to help keep the roads clear for delegates.

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One patient told the Herald it is strange patients are having consultations pushed online or over the phone while world leaders are flying into the city who “really should have held their meetings virtually”.

The failure of the SNP to deal with filth in Glasgow has also dragged up older political disputes, including one over payments for female council workers.

Labour and Co-op MSP Paul Sweeney has taken to Twitter to criticise the party for its previous attempt to appeal a court ruling granting female employees of Glasgow city council equal pay, adding: “[They] still haven’t actually delivered an equal pay scheme so all underpayment liabilities from 2018 to present continue to accrue.”

Ms Wells added that the SNP’s leadership failure could impact Glasgow, if not Scotland as a whole.

“Glasgow is a unique and vibrant city that we should be proud to show off to the world – but the SNP have let her down badly on the international stage,” she said.

Having begun on October 31, the COP26 conference will end on November 12.

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