NICOLA Sturgeon and Douglas Ross are to visit a working class community together after the Scottish Tory leader accepted the First Minister’s challenge.

Mr Ross told Ms Sturgeon last month she only had to “name the time and place” and accused her of “abandoning” the kind of community she grew up in.

It followed Mr Ross using his speech at the UK Tory conference in Manchester to claim that SNP had become “detached from working class communities”.

He said his party were now “the party of working Scotland”.

Now, the pair’s joint visit has been confirmed, with the political opponents set to meet a community club’s recovery group in Glasgow together at the end of the month.

The leaders will visit the Bluevale Community Club in Haghill on Monday, November 22 to witness first-hand the group’s recovery and physical health services.

Drugs policy minister Angela Constance will also join the visit.

The club’s founder Kenny Trainer said he hopes the meeting can be a “turning point” when Scotland’s politicians finally take the necessary action to tackle the drug death crisis.

Mr Ross said: “Bluevale is a perfect example of the kind of grassroots community project we should be throwing financial support behind across Scotland

“These essential locally-run services can’t be left to fill in the gaps in Scotland’s system on their own. 

“Frontline experts back the Right to Recovery Bill because it would guarantee that everyone gets access to the treatment services they need to get their lives back on track, and whole system programmes like Bluevale would get the support they deserve to help people in our communities. 

“We hope this visit can be a watershed moment that secures the government’s support for our Right to Recovery Bill, but we will consider other solutions that the government brings to the table too.”

The SNP have been contacted for comment.

The First Minister previously denied being out of touch with working class voters.

Throwing down the gauntlet for the meeting, Ms Sturgeon last month accused the Tories of punishing those same people through the “morally indefensible” end to the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit.

She said: “The shame of these Tories. They are about to take food out of the mouths of children across working class communities the length and breadth of Scotland, including in Douglas Ross’s own constituency, and they have the nerve to make communities like this.

“Maybe Douglas Ross would like to come with me, and I’ll introduce him to some working  class communities across the country, and then he will see who’s in touch with them and who is horribly out of touch with them.

“Because the Tories, like him, are doing them so much damage every day right now.”

At a later meeting of First Minister's Questions, Mr Ross suggested that he and Ms Sturgeon should visit Bluevale “to see the need for a right to recovery” up close.


He added: “Will the First Minister agree to a joint visit with me to Bluevale so we can find some common ground and get around the table with those on the front line...?"

Responding, Ms Sturgeon said: “I am certainly willing to meet with organisations and indeed with individuals – as I have previously – affected by drugs misuse.”

The Bluevale Community Club have operated a recovery group since mid-2021, with hopes to provide a range of services to people struggling with addiction.

Club founder Mr Trainer said: “A visit with the First Minister and opposition leader to a club like ours doesn’t happen often. But this can’t be a one-off photo op.

“This meeting has to be above party politics. It has to be a turning point that delivers a firm commitment towards changing things for the better.  “We have recently seen some funding coming through our service but this is a drop in the ocean to what we need to continue to provide all of the services we offer - we aren't able to do this voluntarily forever, as much as we would love to”.