THE Scottish Conservatives have been criticised for laughing in Holyrood after an SNP MSP questioned why the UK Government was closing its Foreign Office base in East Kilbride.

On Monday, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office now being run by ex-prime minister and recent House of Lords appointee David Cameron announced that the Abercrombie House office would close.

The 1000 staff will be moved to central Glasgow despite 500 Foreign Office jobs moving to the base just two years ago.

Indeed, the department had previously said it would have 1500 workers there by 2025.

The base was also utilised by the Better Together campaign during the 2014 independence referendum, with a former UK Government minister claiming that voting Yes would change Scotland’s ability to help people around the world from the East Kilbride base.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, the SNP MSP for East Kilbride, Colette Stevenson, expressed her disappointment at the decision.

She said: “The UK Government has just announced the closure of its Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in East Kilbride.

“Following a hard-fought campaign by local workers and their trade unions we managed to keep HMRC in the town.

“So, it beggars belief that the UK Government will instead remove 1000 jobs from my constituency by relocating another department.

“Local staff are worried about this decision. A hammer blow to East Kilbride that could cost the town’s economy £30 million according to the UK Government’s own figures.

“Does the Deputy First Minister agree with me that this is another broken promise to my constituents from the 2014 referendum campaign and can she set out the Scottish Government’s reaction to this announcement from the department headed by the unelected Tory Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron?”

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However, before Shona Robison could answer the chamber broke into uproar as Tory members were accused of laughing.

Deputy Presiding Officer Annabel Ewing was forced to intervene and demand Robison’s response be heard.

Robison said: “I think the people of East Kilbride will draw their own conclusions when they hear the Tories laughing about the loss of a 1000 jobs”.

Stevenson later took to social media to vent her frustration at the Tories’ behaviour.

On X/Twitter she said: “Asking about Tory plans to remove 1000 FCDO jobs from East Kilbride and the Tories response was to laugh.

“Utter contempt for local workers - they don't care.”