East Renfrewshire’s new MP makes his Westminster debut

Paul Masterton MP for East Renfrewshire
Paul Masterton MP for East Renfrewshire

Opponents of the Conservatives can no longer joke about “the last Panda”, says newly-elected East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton.

He was referring to a jibe that was regularly directed at Scottish Secretary David Mundell MP. when he was the only Tory representing Scotland in the House of Commons.

This, went the SNP joke, meant there were twice as many pandas in Scotland as there were Conservative MPs.

Now East Renfrewshire is politically “blue” again, after a year as SNP yellow and, before that, a rather longer spell as Labour red.

Mr Masterton made his maiden speech in the House of Commons yesterday, and besides noting that the panda joke is now redundant also argued that “indyref2” was likewise “dead” – a position not shared by the Scottish Government.

However his speech began with a tribute to predecessor Kirsten Oswald, who had made history by winning East Renfrewshire for the SNP, eliminating the then Labour leader Jim Murphy in the process.

Mr Masterton said: “Kirsten was a diligent and conscientious MP, who did superb work as her party’s spokesperson for veterans.

“She achieved a great deal in her short time in this place with much patience and charm, and I wish her and her family well for the future.”

He also paid tribute to the man who had last held East Renfewshire for the Conservatives, J Allan Stewart, who sadly passed away in December.