The SNP's Kirsten Oswald has described being East Renfrewshire’s MP as the “privilege of my life” as she offered her best wishes to her successor.

Ms Oswald won 13,514 votes in last Thursday’s General Election but lost the seat to Scottish Labour's Blair McDougall who was backed by 21,935 voters.

In a social media post, the 51-year-old said: “Thanks East Ren for the biggest of privileges. It has been a huge honour to be your MP twice.

“I know very well how fortunate I am to have had that opportunity.

“My thanks to everyone who voted, and my best wishes to your new MP, Blair McDougall, and his team.

“I'd like to say a particular thanks to the wonderful SNP campaigners locally, and the best election agent in the world, Adam Cabuk, who could have done no more, and whose efforts in support of a better future for us all are incredible.

“The constituency team who have supported my work are an immense group of people, who have done such a great deal to help people in our communities.

"They have been outstanding.”

Ms Oswald joined the SNP during the 2014 independence referendum and hit the headlines in 2015 when she beat the then Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy to win the East Renfrewshire seat.

She then subsequently lost the seat to the Conservatives Paul Masterton in 2017’s snap election.

This was a result which defied many pre-election predictions and, at the time, was seen as a major blow to the SNP.

The politician bounced back, however, and reclaimed her place as the constituency’s representative at Westminster in December 2019, overcoming an 8.8 per cent deficit over Mr Masterton from 2017.

In July 2020, Ms Oswald became the SNP's deputy leader at Westminster, before announcing in December 2022 that she would be standing down from the position.

In February 2021, she became the SNP’s Spokesperson for Women and Equalities and remained in that role until parliamentary dissolution in May.

Ms Oswald told the Barrhead News last month that as East Renfrewshire’s MP she had dealt with more than 25,000 constituency cases and spoken 600 times at Westminster.

As an MP she was a vocal supporter of a variety of causes such as the plight of WASPI women, banning disposable vapes, tackling the scourge of youth vaping, and the removal of VAT on school uniforms.

Ms Oswald also showed her support for a number of local organisations and events over the years, making frequent visits to places such as Barrhead’s Men’s Shed and Include Me 2 Club during her time as the area's Westminster representative.

In the wake of last Thursday’s election defeat, the mum-of-two said she is now looking forward to some more family time before she decides what is next.

“I love East Ren and all our diverse communities, and I have loved meeting so many of you, helping so many of you and working with the best of people and groups locally," she added.

“I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”