East Dunbartonshire MP secures funding for local charity on virtual return to PMQs

East Dunbartonshire MP Amy Callaghan has secured a guarantee from Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding funding for a local charity following the UK Government’s decision to withdraw from the Erasmus + scheme.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 1:41 pm

The SNP MP, who successfully returned to the House of Commons this week despite suffering a brain haemorrhage only eight months ago, secured the assurance at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

The move comes after Ms Callaghan had questioned UK Government Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson on Monday.

As reported previously in the Kirkintilloch Herald, Stand International, who have offices based in Kirkintilloch high street, are set to lose 96% of their funding as a result of the UK Government’s decision to withdraw participation from the ERASMUS programme.

The Prime Minister had previously claimed there was no threat to UK participation in the programme despite Brexit.

During the exchange, Amy sought assurances that “no young person in East Dunbartonshire would be left behind as a result of Brexit” and that Stand International would receive “match funding” as the UK Government introduces the Turing Scheme, the UK replacement programme for ERASMUS +.

The Prime Minister assured the SNP MP that the Turing Scheme “will deliver exact what she (Amy) wants” and that the Turing scheme will reach out to give opportunity to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Commenting Ms Callaghan said: “I welcome this assurance from the Prime Minister and I am pleased to have secured this win on behalf of my constituents in my return to the House of Commons this week.

“The removal of ERASMUS+ will have a damaging impact on my constituents with Stand International in my constituency set to lose over 96% of their funding.

"This is absolutely unacceptable and the UK Government should make clear if the Turing Scheme – the replacement for ERASMUS+ - will offer match funding for charities and the third sector.

“Whilst for many months I’ve continued to work behind the scenes, I am delighted to have returned to the Commons to ensure my constituents voices are heard.

“My team and I continue to work on behalf of everyone throughout East Dunbartonshire. I will continue to work to protect jobs and household incomes from the damage of Tory austerity, to mitigate the worst of Brexit and to speak up for Scotland in the House of Commons as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”