Louise McPhater has been selected as Scottish Labour’s candidate for the Central Ayrshire seat ahead of the next general election.

The Irvine councillor has been tasked to win back the Westminster seat which Dr Philippa Whitford won from Sir Brian Donohoe in 2015 and then retained two years later in 2017.

Councillor McPhater made national headlines in August 2016 when she was first elected to North Ayrshire Council after winning the Irvine West by-election beating Robin Sturgeon – the father of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Since then she has served as the Cabinet Member for Communities on North Ayrshire Council and was recently applauded for a heartfelt speech urging councillors to declare a drugs death emergency in the area.

The Irvine West councillor has lived in the constituency most of her life and has been a community activist for decades. She is currently employed as the co-ordinator for the Vineburgh Community Centre.

Speaking after her selection, Councillor McPhater, said: “It is an honour to be selected to stand as the Labour candidate for Central Ayrshire. This is not only my home but it’s my community. As a local community worker I know the suffering that local people are going through and I am standing to give them the voice they need in Parliament.

“I am excited about the prospect of standing as a candidate on the most radical manifesto in generations.

She added: “I cannot wait to get out on the campaign trail and fight for the change our area and country desperately needs.”