Edinburgh community activist hits out at Scottish Tory leader over child poverty

A leading Edinburgh child rights activist has hit out at Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross and has asked for a meeting to discuss ending child poverty in Edinburgh.

John Loughton BEM tackling a munro
John Loughton BEM tackling a munro

John Loughton received a British Empire Medal this month in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his work helping to support young people and vulnerable families with food supplies during lockdown.

He is also the CEO and founder of Scran Academy that looks to earn disadvantaged kids vital culinary qualifications and important life skills.

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As a result, the newly appointed Scottish Tory leader wrote a letter to congratulate the activist on his honour and the work that he had carried out to support vulnerable members of society during the pandemic.

Tory leader Douglass Ross letter to John

But he accused Mr Ross of “hypocrisy” when he posted on Twitter calling out the leader for failing to vote in favour of the Labour motion to feed hungry kids during the holidays down south.

John said: “I am grateful to receive this honour as it is for everyone who worked so hard to support vulnerable people in our communities. But if I am to be given this platform then I am going to use it to amplify my voice for what is right.

“I’m calling out the Conservative leader on his hypocrisy after he abstained on the vote last week to feed kids during the holidays in England and Wales. But I am also calling him up and inviting him to come and have a sit down with me and other stakeholders to discuss how we can end child hunger in this country.

“I was once a hungry kid and this cruelty should be a shame to us all.”

John has lived experience of being in poverty as a child and is a key stakeholder in ending child poverty in the capital through working with various bodies.

A Scottish Conservatives spokesperson said: “The Scottish Conservatives are fully supportive of the inspirational campaign to roll out free school meals, led by Marcus Rashford.

“We’ve also laid out our plans to extend the expansion of free school meals across Scotland.

“John Loughton deserves every bit of praise for his work and wherever possible, Douglas would be happy to support him in his efforts across Edinburgh.”

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