JOBS must be secured at the scrapped Department for International Development, MPs have urged.

Labour, SNP and the Lib Dems have all called for the Conservative government to ensure 600 jobs at DfID's headquarters in East Kilbride be saved following the announcement that the department will be merged with the Foreign Office.

Although Downing Street has said no compulsory redundancies will be made, and that the site will remain with employees from the newly-formed Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

SNP MSP for East Kilbride Linda Fabiani said the move meant her constituents faced an "uncertain future".

She explained: “You simply can’t trust the Tories. In the midst of an economic crisis Boris Johnson has put the future of hundreds of Scottish jobs in doubt.

“Today’s announcement is a real blow to the local community here in East Kilbride – especially in the current circumstances we all find ourselves in.

“Despite assurances, local workers in my constituency could now face an uncertain future.

“I will fight tooth and nail with my SNP colleagues at Westminster to keep these jobs in our community.”

Wendy Chamberlain, Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife and the party's international development spokeswoman said the department measure was "cruel and backwards" adding: "UK aid does huge good around the world and this will undoubtedly damage it.

“Dissolving the department could also have serious repercussions at home. Hundreds of employees and their families in the East Kilbride area will be left worried about the security or location of their jobs.

“These jobs must stay put. We cannot afford to lose specialist expertise or put people’s jobs in jeopardy in the midst of a pandemic.”

Ian Murray, Scotland's only Labour MP also urged Boris Johnson to protect the jobs.

He said: "This is a wrong-headed move from a Prime Minister who is out of his depth.

“Labour created the Department for International Development and provided global leadership that ensured Britain was a moral force for good in the world.

“Abolishing this department which has done so much to tackle poverty and injustice would be a deeply retrograde step at any time, let alone at a time when global cooperation is needed more than ever.

“As part of the UK, Scotland plays a vital role in the fight against global poverty through the work led by DfID staff in East Kilbride.

“If this ill-judged merger goes ahead, it is vital the jobs in East Kilbride are fully protected.”