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It’s been the honour of my lifetime to represent the people of West Dunbartonshire as your Member of Parliament.

I’m proud of my record since first being elected in 2015, standing up for local people and our communities. Over the years I have held countless advice surgeries and provided assistance to thousands of local families and households across Clydebank, Dumbarton, and the Vale of Leven.

It’s therefore an immense privilege to once again be selected as the SNP’s candidate for West Dunbartonshire ahead of the upcoming General Election.

The next election, expected in 2024, will be crucial for Scotland. Regardless of whether it’s the Tories or Labour in power at Westminster, as always, it’ll be left to the SNP to fight Scotland’s corner.

With winter fast approaching, the consequences of being tied to a broken Westminster system which continues to let down our communities are clear. Energy bills are skyrocketing, food prices are soaring, and households are struggling to make ends meet.

A new study this week revealed that more than 1 million children in the UK experienced destitution last year. It’s shameful that while families face extreme poverty, the UK government chooses to press ahead with plans to scrap the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

That tells you all you need to know about Westminster’s priorities.

We in the SNP will always stand up and fight against UK austerity. People across these islands are crying out for change, but both Labour and the Tories only offer more of the same. At the next general election, only a vote for the SNP can offer the real change Scotland needs with independence.

Whatever Scotland’s future holds, I’m determined to continue working hard for my constituents and representing the people of West Dunbartonshire to the best of my ability.

My inbox this week has been dominated by messages from constituents horrified at the atrocities unfolding in Israel and Gaza. The massacre of innocent Israeli civilians by Hamas has been utterly barbaric, but that cannot justify the bombardment and collective punishment of innocent Palestinian families.

My colleagues and I in the SNP have been leading calls in parliament for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East. It’s disappointing that so far not all political leaders in the UK have found the courage to back a humanitarian ceasefire which is needed to save lives.

In the coming days I’ll be working alongside fellow parliamentarians to keep pressure on the UK government to do everything possible to help protect the innocent civilians caught up in this escalating tragedy.

The conflict in the Middle East has cost too many lives already.

This opinion column was written for publication in the Clydebank Post and Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter.

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