SNP MP trip to US sparks concerns

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Newly-elected SNP MP, Alyn Smith, has fallen under fire for taking a work trip to the US, with one Tory councillor labeling it a ‘junket’.

Smith, who is the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesperson, and Stirling’s MP, flew to Washington this week for several meetings on Brexit, trade deals and the Huawei Chinese firm which is due to launch 5g networks in the UK.

The MP has been suspected of ‘swanning off’ during a crucial time for the country and the city.

The tory councillor, Neil Benny, said: “we have rural banking closures… the final stages of negotiations for the City Regions deal, important debates on energy… [and] The Member of Parliament is not at his post”.

“Mr. Smith really needs to learn that Stirling expects their representative to do this first, rather than swanning off on some transatlantic junket.”

A spokesperson for the MP hit back, saying the trip was necessary in order to forge links with US in the early stages of Brexit.

Alyn Smith, who was formerly an MEP for Scotland for over 15 years, was elected as an MP in November last year, outing incumbent Steven Kerr.

Stirlings MP Alyn Smith. Credit: Alynsmith twitter

This comes after his controversial speech outside of Holyrood, where the MP urged the European parliament to ‘leave a light on for Scotland’ during an anti-Brexit rally.

A spokesperson on behalf of Mr. Smith described the trip as a set of important meetings with a number of representatives, including US senators and UN delegates.

He added: “These links are important links, particularly as Scotland has now been removed from the EU and is facing a trade deal to be negotiated.”

The spokesperson described the tory councillor’s words as ‘bizarre and bitter’, arguing that, as MP, Stephen Kerr had also taken several trips despite not having a direct role in foreign affairs.

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