MAY I first take this opportunity to thank all those Wee County residents who voted for me in the Scottish Parliament elections a couple of weeks ago.

I was delighted to increase the share of the vote for the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party further here in Clackmannanshire and Dunblane and push Labour into third place.

When the Scottish Conservatives launched our election campaign eight weeks ago, we made a very simple promise to voters.

We said that a vote for the Scottish Conservatives was a vote to stop an SNP majority. And by stopping an SNP majority, we could stop indyref2 and ensure we had a Scottish Parliament 100 per cent focussed on recovery from the pandemic.

And we did it. The Scottish Conservatives secured our best ever result in a Scottish Parliament election. We once again increased our share of the vote on the regional list and gained over 100,000 extra party list votes on the peach ballot paper.

This meant that we held all 31 of our MSPs across Scotland while both Labour and the Liberal Democrats lost seats.

But Nicola Sturgeon has already broken her promise to voters. Despite saying that she would focus on recovery from the pandemic and despite saying to those watching a TV debate who were against a second referendum that they should still vote SNP, within hours of the results coming in, she was touring the TV studios demanding another referendum.

The SNP needs to listen to the message that voters sent them. While they were re-elected to government, people in Scotland deprived them of that majority that Nicola Sturgeon said was so important.

Scots want their government—and indeed all political parties—to come together in the national interest and focus completely on recovery.

The Scottish Conservatives will keep our promise to voters. Our mission over the next five years is to continue to hold the SNP minority government to account and to ensure that its focus is on recovery rather than more constitutional division.

We will also put forward positive policy ideas to support Scotland's recovery. Polling by Savanta ComRes found that, without party affiliation, the policies contained within the Scottish Conservative Holyrood manifesto were the most popular of those put forward

It is our intention to progress the policies within it through parliament as bills in this term.

To give just two examples: Our immediate focus should be on rebuilding our economy, which has been badly hit by the effects of the lockdown restrictions.

We would bring forward an Enterprise Bill that would create an economic agency for every region of Scotland to protect jobs, boost economic growth, and give more powers to our local communities.

We also desperately need to address our drugs death crisis, which is the worst in Europe. We would bring forward a bill to support recovery by enshrining the right to access residential rehabilitation services into law.

This Right to Rehab would reverse the effects of SNP cuts and ensure everyone who needs treatment can get it.

In the recent elections, we again demonstrated that we are Scotland's strongest opposition party. Our next job is to demonstrate that we are a strong alternative to the SNP.