Louise McPhater has been selected as Scottish Labour’s candidate for the Central Ayrshire seat ahead of the next general election.

The Irvine councillor has been tasked to win back the Westminster seat which Dr Philippa Whitford won from Sir Brian Donohoe in 2015 and then retained two years later in 2017.

Councillor McPhater made national headlines in August 2016 when she won the Irvine West by-election beating Robin Sturgeon - the father of first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

She has since been appointed Cabinet Member for Communities on North Ayrshire Council and was recently applauded for a heartfelt speech urging councillors to delcare a drugs death emergency in the area.

In addition, Councillor McPhater is a member of the Irvine Locality Planning Partnership, the Local Development Plan Committee and the Education Appeals Committee. She also represents North Ayrshire Council on the COSLA Community Wellbeing Board, Ayrshire Educational Trust, North Ayrshire Ventures Trust, Community Justice Ayrshire (substitute), Industrial Communities Alliance (substitute), West of Scotland European Forum (substitute)

She is the centre co-ordinator at the Vineburgh Community Centre in Irvine, having worked there since it opened.

She is still actively involved in many community projects and is a founder member of Irvine Special Events (Christmas Lights).  She also played a role in Irvine Vision.

Councillor McPhater said: “It is an honour to be selected to stand as the Labour candidate for Central Ayrshire.

“This is not only my home but its my community. As a local community worker I know the suffering that local people are going through and I am standing to give them the voice they need in Parliament.”

“The Tories handling of Brexit has been a shambles for over three years now and we are now at a standstill which is affecting our economy and taking all attention away from the human suffering being experienced as a result of austerity.

“We need a solution to the Brexit crisis and only Labour can deliver one. Whilst the other parties move to extreme positions on Brexit – the Tories determined to leave with a catastrophic No Deal, the Liberal Democrats wanting to completely ignore democracy by revoking Article 50 and the SNP flirting with revocation too – Labour is the only party that will let the people decide.

“Labour will hold a confirmatory peoples vote on any Brexit Deal – giving the people the choice between a credible Brexit Deal and Remain.

“Brexit is one of many problems facing our country and a General Election must be about having a political and economic vision to tackle them all.

“I am excited about the prospect of standing as a candidate on the most radical manifesto in generations. At the General Election, Labour is going to offer the biggest opportunity we have had in my lifetime to restructure our economic and political system so that it works for the many, not the few.

“Take the existential threat of climate change for example. The General Election should be about the Party who offers the action we need to decarbonise our economy and Labour has the most ambitious climate targets in the world to hit net-zero by 2030 through a Green Industrial Revolution.

“I cannot wait to get out on the campaign trail and fight for the change our area and country desperately needs.”