IAIN Duncan Smith is to “respond” to a request by a new SNP MP to return to the Easterhouse estate in Glasgow where the Conservative politician was famously moved close to tears after witnessing scenes of grinding poverty there more than 13 years ago.

Natalie McGarry has written to the Secretary for Work and Pensions inviting him to return to the area which is in her Glasgow East constituency. She wants the Tory minister to see the effects his government’s policies are having on the local community which is among one of the most economically deprived in the UK.

Duncan Smith famously visited Easterhouse in 2002 as Tory leader while his party was in opposition to Tony Blair’s Labour government.

Greeted by scenes of semi-derelict and boarded up tenements and rubbish strewn gardens, he was taken aback by the levels of deprivation in the area, pledging ‘compassionate Conservativism’, vowing to help change things, in what became known as the ‘Easterhouse epiphany’.

McGarry, the SNP disability spokeswoman, said she had written to Duncan Smith as she has picked up on a “definite appetite to re-engage” with him by her constituents.

“There have been many positive changes to the area since 2002, however after speaking to many of my constituents and organisations who work tackling absolute poverty here in Easterhouse, there is a definite appetite to re-engage with Iain Duncan Smith,” she said.

She added: “From the bedroom tax to the benefit sanctions regime, the Tories’ policies have been a direct attack on many.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “Mr Duncan Smith will respond to the invitation in due course.”