MP Patricia Gibson will question Prime Minister Rishui Sunak in the Commons after expressing her "disappointment and frustration" at the lack of Government action over the ongoing strike at Beith missile depot DE&S.

The North Ayrshire SNP MP has been allocated a question to the PM about the dispute on Wednesday, October 18.

It comes after an "unhelpful" response from Defence Procurement Minister James Catrildge MP regarding the strike.

The Beith plant, which has been supplying arms to Ukraine during the conflict, employs craft workers, who assemble weapons, and non-craft workers, who move arms around the site and load them for shipment.

The GMB union says the gap between the salaries of craft and non-craft workers has tripled in recent years.

Mr Cartildge told the MP: "As you are aware, due to high local attrition rates in the Craft Fitter and Engineering Manager roles at Beith, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) brought in retention measures to respond to a highly competitive job market for these skills in this area.

"Staff in these grades received a retention bonus paid for two years and an additional local allowance.

"The Non-Craft Support Operatives who are the signatories of the collective grievance are a critical part of the Defence team at Beith, however they undertake different work and therefore are on a different grade with different rates of pay.

"Their remuneration arrangements reflect the skills, capabilities and qualifications required to do their role, as well as the different levels of responsibility and accountability they have, in comparison with those employees who have received the retention allowance.

"DE&S concluded that there were no grounds to support making the signatories eligible for the retention measures as attrition in these roles was low.

"On July 24, DE&S made its 2023 Pay Offer for all civilian staff to the Trade Unions who are currently consulting their members.

"This pay offer has a significant impact for the grade which covers Non-Craft Support Operatives, who will see the highest rises in consolidated pay levels compared with other employee groups in DE&S.

"I can assure you that this dispute is being considered at the highest levels in DE&S and that my officials continue to be open to talks on a constructive basis. They hope to see a resolution as early as possible."

Ms Gibson responded: “Sadly, this response – the tone and content of which is unhelpful - moves matters no closer to the resolution we all want to see.

“I have been allocated a question to the Prime Minister on Wednesday,October in the House of Commons. I will raise the matter directly with him and continue to press for non-craft workers to be paid fairly at DE&S Beith."