EAST Renfrewshire's Member of Parliament is backing a Neilston woman fighting to free her fiancé from an Indian jail.

Kirsten Oswald has thrown her support behind Yvonne McHugh, 27, who has released new documents that indicate anti-piracy seaman Billy Irving is being detained illegally.

An Indian court ruled the 37-year-old and six other former British soldiers had entered the country's waters with illegal weapons in October 2013.

Billy was subsequently jailed for five years in January after it was deemed the MV Seaman Guard Ohio ship he was deployed on had strayed into Indian waters without sufficient documentation for its guns and ammunition.

Yvonne, along with the rest of the prisoners' families, have published what they claim are legal arms licenses given to the jailed men by the British Government.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills documentation has been sent to the High Court in Madras.

It is claimed the licenses, which included semi-automatic assault rifles exported to Billy's employer, US maritime security firm AdvanFort, were authorised.

East Renfrewshire's MP is angry at the lack of governmental action regarding the issue.

Ms Oswald, the SNP's Armed Forces and Veterans spokeswoman, hopes the new evidence will see Billy freed soon so he can return home to his wife and one-year-old son William.

She said: "I've been pressing the UK Government about these licenses for a long time.

"The last meeting I had, I was very frustrated. I think the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) needs to get a grip.

"Now that that information is in the public domain, I think it's incumbent on the FCO to act immediately – they need to take every diplomatic action that they can."

Ex-paratrooper Billy, who is from Connel, Argyll and Bute, has only spent 16 weeks with his son since he was born.

Ms Oswald added: "It is really important information to them (the prisoners). This is costing Billy his freedom.

"The longer they (Government ministers) don't put all diplomatic actions into play, the longer these innocent men remain in jail.

"It's unbelievable that he's still there and it's really unforgivable that there is not a greater sense of urgency about this."

Indian police and customs officials seized 35 guns and almost 6,000 rounds of ammunition on board the vessel.

Initially Billy and 34 other MV Seaman Guard Ohio crew members and security guards were held at Puzhal Prison for six months before the charges were dropped.

However, a police appeal eventually culminated in the men being jailed once again.

It was claimed by Indian authorities that the ship's crew was unable to hand over the necessary documents authorising their possession of the weapons.

Yvonne is desperate to get her partner home and is demanding Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson do everything in their powers to secure his release.

She said: "If yet again they are dismissed by the courts, we have proof the men are being held in India illegally."

Anyone who wishes to keep up-to-date with the ongoing situation can do so by liking the 'Bring Billy Back' Facebook page.