McAlpine slams Edinburgh Woollen Mill move

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MSP Joan McAlpine has said moving the Edinburgh Woollen Mill headquarters to Carlisle would be the ‘ultimate betrayal’ of the people of Langholm.


The firm – whose chief executive Philip Day is a Tory donor – was founded in Langholm in 1946 and its headquarters has been based there ever since.


But this week it emerged that EWM is poised to make Carlisle its headquarters  – and the fate of Langholm is unclear.


Ms McAlpine has written to the chief executive Philip Day asking for clarity and pointing out the years of service Langholm has given to the firm. 


Ms McAlpine said:


“The chief executive of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Philip Day, is a Tory party donor – we need to ask what is his commitment to Scotland, and Langholm in particular.  If he pushes ahead with relocation you have to ask whether such an iconic Scottish brand can be based outside Scotland.”


She continued:


 “It is deeply ironic that Mr Day donated £5000 to the Tory MP Rory Stewart, who was prominent in the No campaign which claimed firms would move to England if Scotland voted Yes. Mr Stewart’s Hands Across the Border Cairn claimed to be about loving they neighbour. This move is more Beggar Thy Neighbour.” 


She added:


“This is a huge blow to the town, coming on the back of the closure of last mill, Border Fine Arts and the latest announcement that the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is poised to close unless it finds a buyer.”


Ms McAlpine said there was also an onus on local Tory politicians to put pressure on Mr Day not to betray their constituents. 


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