It is the honour of my life to represent Carrick, Cumnock, and Doon Valley in the Scottish Parliament.

This month, I was reminded of our proud heritage rooted in mining and working-class politics. The legacy of Labour Party founder Keir Hardie, who championed the cause of trade unions for miners in this region, continues to inspire me. The support for Labour in our area was once so unwavering that it would have been faster to weigh their ballots than to count them.

However, Labour lost its way a long time ago, and has left the people of Scotland behind. Like many of you, I was deeply disappointed to hear that should Labour get into Government at Westminster, they would keep the disgusting two-child benefit cap and the cruel rape clause.

What’s more, Anas Sarwar supports Keir Starmer in doing so. This is despite him previously saying that these policies are “horrific”. So, what’s changed?

The UK government’s own figures show that over 400,000 households have already been deprived of crucial income due to the Tories’ draconian policies, sending thousands of families below the poverty line. It is therefore unforgivable that a so-called left-wing party would seek to carry on in this way.

We should be doing all we can to lift families out of poverty and make sure that our children grow up healthy and happy with equal opportunities to succeed. Instead, Labour wants women to relive their trauma and prove they were raped in order to receive benefits for a third child.

Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar should be ashamed of themselves. I applaud those few Labour politicians who have had the courage to call out their bosses and urge them to rethink this decision.

There is one thing we know for certain, we will either have a Conservative or a Labour PM in Downing Street come the next election. I want Labour to get back to its roots and stand up for working-class families again. Unfortunately, the lines that distinguish Tory and Labour are becoming increasingly blurred by the day.

Meanwhile in Scotland, the SNP is pushing for progressive policies and ground-breaking benefits with the restricted powers we have.

We deliver the Scottish Child Payment which sees families receive £25 per week, per child. School leavers get to go to university and are not faced with eye-watering tuition fees, because your right to learn shouldn’t be based on your bank balance. Prescriptions are free so that the trip to the chemist isn’t another financial worry for households. Scotland is leading the way across so many areas, and we only have further to go.

First Minister Humza Yousaf is resolute in expanding our offering and has made tackling child poverty his number one mission.

But we can only make real and lasting change with the full powers of independence which would allow us to escape from backward Westminster policies, and instead, create a fairer, greener, and wealthier Scotland for all our people.