Irvine’s MP suffered a nasty fall down a woodland embankment which left her with a broken ankle.

Central Ayrshire MP Dr Philippa Whitford was paying a visit to Tarbolton woods recently to meet a community group who have helped to tidy up the River Fail.

But her tour round the new pathways was cut short as the party had to make a diversion due to a fallen tree on a path.

With the walk going off the beating track, Dr Whitford slipped and slid down, with her leg becoming folded up behind her.

Following surgery, the qualified breast cancer surgeon told the Times how everyone heard a “sickening crunch” as she landed.

Dr Whitford said: “I thought my knee was going to explode and I could see that my leg was folded round and that my foot was pointing the wrong way, we all heard the noise it was a sickening crunch.”

“There was a couple of ambulance crews involved in the operation to find me, Gary one of the volunteers had got the police in so they could locate exactly where we were. The first paramedic crew gave me painkillers and gas and air, but then they had real difficulty getting me to somewhere that they could extract me, so that all took quite some time, by which point I was kind of cold and jittering.”

The MP was then whisked off to Ayr Hospital where it was deemed that she would require surgery.

She spent five days there including undergoing an op which involved three nails being placed to wedge three broken bones together.

She added: “Everybody was lovely. That is the experience that you get with the NHS everyone does what they can to make you less miserable.”

Dr Whitford hopes to be back in time for the Parliamentary recess ending in September, and her team are still working to help answer any queries.