Lord Cameron did not visit East Kilbride before making the decision to move 1000 civil service jobs out the town, it can be revealed.

Information obtained under freedom of information shows neither the Foreign Secretary nor his predecessorr James Cleverly travelled to the town in the weeks and months ahead of the development being announced.

It emerged on December 12 last year that the UK Foreign Office would be leaving East Kilbride for new premises in Glasgow within the next three years.

READ MORE: Council bosses blindsided as Foreign Office quits East Kilbride

Reports at the time said staff at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) site in South Lanarkshire were told about the move the previous week with around 1,000 staff transferring out of Abercrombie House "after 2025" to an as-yet unconfirmed location in Glasgow city centre.

However, a response to a freedom of information request submitted by the SNP and given to The Herald showed that neither Lord Cameron or Mr Cleverly visited the East Kilbride site in the weeks and months leading up to the announcement.

The request had been made on November 2 seeking all dates and purposes of the visits to Scotland by the Foreign Secretary in 2023.

READ MORE: East Kilbride: The story of Scotland's first new town

The Information Unit Rights Unit of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office replied: "I am writing to advise you that following a search of our paper and electronic records, I have established that the information you requested is not held by this Department.

"Neither the current nor former Foreign Secretary has been to Scotland in the time period stated."

Lord Cameron returned to government last year taking over from Mr Cleverly on November 13 last year, with the latter becoming Home Secretary.

East Kilbride SNP MSP Collette Stevenson said: “After promising more jobs would come to East Kilbride, the UK government's decision to relocate around 1000 jobs to Glasgow was a hammer-blow to our town and local economy.

READ MORE: UK Government ramps up plans to redeploy civil servants outside London

"What was especially horrifying to local residents is that this decision was taken by David Cameron, an unelected lord with no democratic mandate.

 "Now it transpires that neither he, nor his predecessor, even bothered to visit before ordering the closure of the FCDO office in East Kilbride. It is absolutely shameful. 

“UK government ministers must explain to the people of East Kilbride how they made such a devastating decision without even bothering to come visit or meet with staff onsite.”

The development also provoked anger in the local council with leaders claiming they were not informed of plans.

They said they learnt of the move after it appeared in a trade magazine for the real estate sector. Joe Fagan, the Labour leader of South Lanarkshire council, claimed aa the time the residents of East Kilbride were being “mucked about”.

“Two years ago we were promised 500 more FCDO jobs in the town by 2025,” he told The Herald.

“Now they’re packing up and moving out. I’ve called for urgent talks and appealed for government ministers to intervene”.

He added: “I am franky astounded by the announcement — both the decision itself and the way it has been made.

“These staff have been working, and in many cases living, in East Kilbride for decades and are important contributors to our local community and economy.”

Paul Manning, the council’s chief executive, said: “East Kilbride is an excellent location for public organisations and private businesses and I am sure everyone is keen to see Scotland’s oldest and biggest new town prosper.”

The Foreign Office said in December that HMRC will move into the FCDO building from Queensway House following the FCDO's staff departure.

A FCDO spokesperson said at the time there were no planned job losses, adding the move would "widen the department's future talent pool".

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said its members were given just an hour's notice of the decision before it was announced on 7 December.

It said the move was "welcomed" by some members who would prefer to be based in Glasgow, though others based outside the city raised "considerable concerns".

A statement read: "Whilst FCDO have made some positive soundings about the potential for excess fares, and given an assurance that there will not be compulsory redundancies as a result of the move, many staff are rightly worried about the impact on their ability to regularly commute to the new location.

"We have already asked for the Equality Impact Assessment for the move and will request sight of a postcode analysis of employees to explore the issues further.

"We will continue to follow up the concerns and issues that we have already raised, and will consult members through members' meetings on any proposals presented to us."

The FCDO said that the Permanent Secretary travelled to Scotland to inform staff about the relocation of the FCDO’s presence in Scotland in person and, a spokesperson told the Herald: “FCDO is relocating to a modern building in Glasgow as part of its levelling-up commitment to deliver a total presence in Scotland of 1,500 roles at our joint HQ.”