A Scottish councillor explains why she’s ditched the Conservatives, and it’s not good news for the DWP

The DWP logo in a fireball
Brian Finlay

On 9 August, a councillor at Edinburgh City Council tweeted a scathing statement attacking the Conservatives. She said she had left the Scottish Conservatives in July because of the “treatment of the disabled” by the DWP and other policies. Ashley Graczyk, formerly a Conservative councillor, says she now supports Scottish independence, and the Edinburgh Evening News reports that she may now join the SNP.

The statement

Graczyk posted her statement “My Journey from NO to YES” on Twitter:

The former Conservative, who is deaf, wrote in her statement:

I saw with my own eyes the impact the Conservative policies, especially DWP and welfare, had on local people and communities. I have lost count the amount of times I have met various disabled people and those in difficulties who have been immensely impacted by DWP at local level. I, personally, have seen people reduced to tears because of Universal Credit, PIP, Access to Work and Access to Elected Office Fund (UK)

Graczyk also detailed how her experiences have changed her mind about backing Scottish independence; most noteworthy, highlighting that all nations of the UK should be on “an equal footing” and not simply have policies imposed on Scotland from Westminster.

She went on to say:

I became more convinced that Scotland needs political independence to build a different and better Scotland.

The reaction

First minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon retweeted Graczyk’s statement, saying it was “well worth a read”:

And voters have been reacting to Graczyk’s revelations, with some welcoming her to the Scottish independence movement:

Others shared their own experiences of turning from ‘No to Yes’:

And one SNP councillor was happy to read the news of Graczyk turning against Tory policies:

What happens now?

Graczyk is currently an independent councillor and is in informal talks about joining the SNP Edinburgh City Council group. The council is operated by an SNP/Labour coalition.

Graczyk’s move will be an embarrassment to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. The ex-Tory councillor’s ward sits within Davidson’s Holyrood constituency of Edinburgh Central.

So perhaps the Conservative Party will listen to its former colleague about the destructive impact DWP policies have on vulnerable people.

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Featured image via Wikimedia Commons and PixaBay

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