BRIAN LEISHMAN has promised to tackle child poverty in Clackmannanshire as he was elected the new MP for Alloa and Grangemouth.

The Labour candidate saw off SNP contention to earn his space in Westminster and has already outlined key areas he wants to tackle across his new constituency.

While the fate of the Grangemouth refinery will be very much on his mind, Mr Leishman has also turned his attention to poverty rates in Clackmannanshire.

As reported by the Advertiser last month, Alloa’s poverty rates are among some of the worst in Scotland, with some areas reporting that one in two children live below the breadline.

Speaking to the Advertiser after his result, Mr Leishman vowed to tackle child poverty rates head on in Alloa.

He said: “Child poverty is something that has beset the Wee County and that is absolutely unacceptable that in 2024, families are reliant on foodbanks and warm spaces.

“It’s a sad indictment of the society we have that that has become almost a normalised and accepted piece of our way of life.

“We’ve got to try to make things better for people across this constituency.”

The future of the Grangemouth refinery is also a massive issue for Mr Leishman, who was very vocal in his campaign that more must be done to save jobs there.

He addressed this in his interview after the election, calling it the “greatest industrial issue” Scotland has seen in almost 40 years.

He continued: “The immediate plan after a very late night and early morning is to grab a couple hours rest absolutely.

“It’ll be straight on with the day job.

“I think it’s fair to say Scotland faces its greatest industrial issue in possibly four decades in the potential closure of the Grangemouth refinery.

“I’ve campaigned on trying to save those jobs and also extending the life of the refinery and invest in the workforce for the future.”

Mr Leishman won the seat after securing 18039 votes, seeing off second placed SNP candidate John Nicolson, who accrued 11,917.

This recorded a landslide victory for the Labour Party in Alloa and Grangemouth, helping them keep on track for a huge win nation wide.

Mr Leishman paid thanks to the people who had voted for him and looked ahead to repaying that faith immediately.

He added: “It’s a fantastic feeling that the people in Alloa and Grangemouth have put their faith in me to deliver the change that communities all across this constituency and Scotland and the United Kingdom need.

“From a personal point of view, it is absolutely fantastic to be given that sign of confidence from people in Alloa and Grangemouth.

“That’s now history, it’s now get on with the day job and actually make things better for so many people that desperately need that.

“I can’t wait to get started and deliver the change that people need.”