LABOUR candidate Blair McDougall is urging voters in East Renfrewshire to send Nicola Sturgeon a message that they don’t want another independence referendum.

Mr McDougall, who played a key role in the successful Better Together campaign against independence in 2014, is confident of success on June 8, despite the SNP’s victory at the last General Election two years ago.

He said: “In 2015, the SNP won in East Renfrewshire, with Labour coming a close second. The Tories were a distant third - meaning only Labour can defeat the SNP.

“I am proud to be standing as the candidate for the area in which I was brought up and in which my wife and I are raising our children.”

Mr McDougall insists East Renfrewshire is facing big challenges and needs a MP who will make improving local schools and hospitals a priority.

He added: “By voting Labour on June 8, we can send Nicola Sturgeon a message that she should focus on the day job, not another referendum.

“It’s ridiculous that one of the most pro-Union constituencies in the country is represented by a SNP MP. That’s because, last time, the votes of the majority were split.

“I brought together the anti-independence majority in 2014 and I can do the same on June 8.”

Among those who are backing the Labour man’s bid for victory is former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling.

Mr McDougall said: “I am delighted to have received Alistair Darling’s endorsement.

“He and I brought together voters from across the political spectrum to stop the SNP in 2014 and I can do it again in East Renfrewshire.”

Mr McDougall also stressed that, as a MP, he wouldn’t back a hard Brexit or be a “cheerleader” for independence.

He added: “If voters want to send Nicola Sturgeon a message to drop her plans for a divisive second referendum, they must vote Labour on June 8.

“A vote for any other party risks letting the SNP back in.”