Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur has written to new MP Paul Masterton to “help him understand the challenges faced” by his constituents.

The Holyrood constituency of SNP man Mr Arthur shares a sizeable area with the East Renfrewshire region that Mr Masterton will now represent at Westminster.

And the dust had barely settled on the General Election result before Mr Arthur revealed he had contacted the successful Conservative candidate to “seek out clarification” on his views.

“I know what a great privilege it is to represent your constituents and I wish Paul all the best in his new role,” said Mr Arthur.

“However, I have been saddened by the number of constituents who have come to me for assistance as a direct consequence of some of the Tories’ most damaging austerity policies, which have penalised the most vulnerable in society.

“I feel that it is important that those same constituents who have reached out to me know whether Paul will put their interests first at Westminster or simply rubber-stamp plans to continue with an extreme austerity agenda.

“Given that Paul is new to East Renfrewshire, I’d like to help him understand the challenges faced by some of the people I represent here.”

Mr Arthur also paid tribute to SNP colleague Kirsten Oswald, who has been ousted as East Renfrewshire’s MP after just two years in the job.

“Kirsten Oswald was a local champion who understood the area and its issues,” added Mr Arthur. “I can only hope her successor will consider whether he would rather represent communities here or simply be Theresa May’s yes man.”