KIRSTEN Oswald has reiterated the need for the Foreign Office to demand the release of an ex-paratrooper from an Indian jail.

East Renfrewshire’s MP is calling on Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to act on what supporters described as the “wrongful” imprisonment of Billy Irving, 35, of Connel, near Oban.

Billy, who is in a Chennai prison, was separated from his family in Neilston in 2013 when an Indian court jailed him and five other British anti-piracy seamen for five years on illegal firearms offences.

The men on board the MV Seamen Guard Ohio were charged with carrying the weapons into the country.

They have consistently protested their innocence.

Supporters campaigning on behalf of the “Chennai Six” published documents which prove the prisoners’ arms licences were issued by the British Government.

Billy’s fiancée Yvonne McHugh, 27, was feeling more hopeful of being reunited with her partner just a few weeks ago – until a judge failed to attend an appeal hearing which will now have to be restarted.

Having raised the issue on numerous occasions, Ms Oswald has urged the Foreign Office to help bring a resolution to what she describes as a “Groundhog Day” situation.

She said: “I have had six meetings with Foreign Office ministers to press them to secure Billy Irving’s release, but it feels a bit like Groundhog Day, with the same discussions happening again and again, with a disappointing lack of any action.

“Billy and his shipmates have been stuck in India for three years. These men are innocent of any crime.

“The UK Government must step up efforts to secure their release.

“I am concerned about Billy’s state of health and well-being. This terrible limbo he and his colleagues are in must be taking its toll.”

Since his imprisonment three years ago, Billy has seen his one-year-old son William only a handful of times.

Ms Oswald, who was accompanied on a recent trip to the Foreign Office by Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara, insists the time for talking is now over.

“Boris Johnson must recognise the need for urgent and immediate action without further delay,” she said.

“For the past 15 months, I have heard soothing words from Foreign Office ministers. That’s simply not good enough.

“Now we need action to bring Billy home.”

The News tried to contact the Foreign Office but is yet to receive any response.

To stay up-to-date with the latest situation, see Bring Billy Back on Facebook.