SNP Consumer Affairs spokesperson and local MP Patricia Gibson, has called on Scottish Tory MPs to stop “playing petty politics,” and instead work with other parties on long-standing campaigns affecting constituents in Scotland and across the UK.
The SNP MP criticised moves to re-introduce a new Bill on nuisance calls which simply replicates exactly the provisions from her 2016 Bill, to which the UK Government is already committed.
Patricia Gibson MP has campaigned relentlessly on the issue of combating the plight of nuisance calls and introduced a Bill in Westminster in 2016 which proposed holding company bosses personally liable for nuisance calls.
It received the unequivocal backing of the UK Tory Government with a pledge to implement it on the 01 of April 2017, before Ministers - without explanation - kicked the campaign into the long grass the week before it was to be enacted, leaving hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people, particularly the elderly, exposed to this continuing menace.
Earlier this year, the North Ayrshire & Arran MP met Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nick Hancock MP, to keep up the pressure, and welcomed a renewed and absolute commitment from the minister to introduce the measures she proposed in her Bill to combat nuisance calls.
However, the Tories are now playing politics, trying to introduce an identical Bill in the name of one of their own MPs.
Mrs Gibson commented:
“Nuisance calls and scammers affect millions of people across the UK, and the issue is a serious cause of concern for the elderly and most vulnerable people right across the UK.
“Any action to tackle it is welcome. However, rather than working together with MPs across Westminster, it was disappointing to see the Tories play petty politics, choose to turn their backs on this longstanding campaign and plagiarise the provisions of my Bill. They should stop such shenanigans and simply implement it now. They promised to do so over a year ago and people are still being pestered by these calls.
“The SNP Government’s national Nuisance Calls Action Plan contains a range of measures to raise awareness, is welcome and makes it easier for people take action to protect themselves.
However, the power to regulate in this area still lies with the UK Government, who have thus far failed to act.
"I, along with colleagues, will continue to press the UK Government to deliver their promise to act on nuisance calls, and work with other parties to end them once and for all.”