A would-be Labour MP for one of the poorest parts of Scotland has missed a key finance meeting and the start of her party’s conference to go on a luxury cruise.

Glasgow councillor Maureen Burke missed the setting of the council’s £3 billion budget on Thursday, and failed to join in remotely while on holiday.

Ms Burke, the candidate for Glasgow North East, which includes Springburn, Balornock and Easterhouse, is understood to be in the Caribbean for at least a week.

The SNP, which is defending the marginal Westminster seat, said Ms Burke’s absence suggested she would make a poor MP if she won. 

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Ms Burke, 65, a councillor for the North East ward since 2012, last month posted a social media video saying her area needed “vital funding from the SNP-Green Government”.

Standing in front of a local flooding problem, she asked: “Where’s our SNP MP, MSP and councillor? The councillor... who could get this sorted?”

However she was not present at Thursday’s budget meeting, when Labour put forward an alternative spending package for the city.

The SNP administration later comfortably passed its own budget with Green support.

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Ms Burke’s absence also coincides with the Scottish Labour conference taking place in Glasgow from this morning until 1pm on Sunday. 

She will miss today's keynote speech by Scottish leader Anas Sarwar and a welcome address by her council group leader George Redmond.

She will also miss an afternoon debate on tackling poiverty.

Many of the party’s other general election candidates are attending, including Dr Zubir Ahmed from Glasgow South West, Midlothian’s Kirsty McNeil, Torcuil Crichton from the Western Isles. Pamela Nash from Motherwell, and Martin McCluskey from Inverclyde.

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A Glasgow SNP spokesperson said: “Councillor Burke’s decision to go on a luxury Caribbean cruise instead of turning up to do her job shows the people of Glasgow North East the type of MP she would be.

“If her constituents don’t come first when she’s a councillor, why should they believe she would be any different in Westminster?

“Maybe it’s the salary she is interested in and the numbers of holidays that could provide.”

Frank McAveety, the Labour business manager on Glasgow City Council, said he had given Ms Burke permission to be away during the budget meeting and that she had taken council kit with her to join in remotely, but had evidently been unable to do so.

Referring to the pressure of the election campaign later this year, he said: “She said she was needing a break, so I said you’re better going early in anticipation of the rest of the year being pretty stressful. She’s got permission. 

“She had taken stuff out with her to try and get a [remote] connection.  It all depends on whether she’s come in for the day somewhere. I know she’s on a cruise. It was just unlucky today.”

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Mr McAveety said he was “almost certain” Ms Burke would be back for part of the conference, as the cruise was a week-long, although he was unsure of its location.

The SNP’s Anne McLaughlin held Glasgow North East in 2019 by just 2548 votes

Asked about the SNP criticism that the episode suggested Ms Burke would make a poor MP for the constituency, Mr McAveety said Ms McLaughlin was “invisible”.

He added: “The people will make that judgment in due course but I’m pretty confident Maureen will get their support.”

The Herald attempted to contact Ms Burke.