Irvine's MP has picked up a top gong at last nights MP of the Year awards.

Dr Philippa Whitford, MP for Central Ayrshire, was presented with the Overall People's Choice MP award, as nominated and voted by the public at this year’s Patchwork Foundation MP of the Year Awards.

The MP of the Year Awards give individuals and grassroots community organisations the opportunity to nominate their MP for an award as commendation for the hard work they do throughout the year, particularly in relation to their work with minority communities.

Dr Whitford has actively supported and worked with many community organisations across Central Ayrshire, including the Dementia Friendly groups, and this year organised two constituency-wide Community Engagement Fairs to help foster partnerships between community groups and local business.

She has also spearheaded the campaign calling on the UK Government to introduce Separate Payments under Universal Credit to help prevent perpetrators of domestic abuse and coercion from controlling their partner’s finances, which can further isolate their victims and exacerbate the abuse.

Dr Whitford received her award at a ceremony in the Speaker’s House at the House of Commons on Wednesday evening.

Speaking after the ceremony, Dr Whitford said: “I am delighted and honoured to be awarded the Patchwork Foundation’s Overall People’s Choice MP of the Year Award. To receive any award is, of course, pleasing but to receive the People’s Choice Award, as voted by the public, is particularly rewarding.

“It is all too easy to get swept up in the vortex of Westminster so it is important to remember that it is ordinary people we serve and it is they who are most important. It is lovely to be recognised by those I represent.

“In many ways, being an MP is like being a doctor, where you need to diagnose the underlying issue that is causing problems for a constituent and provide support to those who find themselves in difficulty. My greatest achievements as an elected representative have undoubtedly been when I have won justice for a constituent, or achieved an outcome which has made someone’s life that little bit easier, and setting up community projects which have helped make a difference to individuals in need of support.

“I want to thank my team both in the constituency and at Westminster who work tirelessly to help constituents and support me in speaking up for them in Parliament. I am very proud of everything they have achieved and this award is also for them.

“I am very grateful to all those who voted for me. Politicians tend to face a lot of negativity so this award means a great deal and gives me greater encouragement as I continue my work for the people of Central Ayrshire and Scotland.”