My congratulations go to Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan after he completed his charity Pipeathon.

Stuart, who is the Scottish Parliament piper, was raising money for Clydeside Action on Asbestos, the Andy Adams Fund and Cash for Kids.

He travelled around all 42 SPFL stadiums over five days to play the pipes.

As Stuart is a Greenock Morton fan, it was good to see him wearing a St Mirren top when he visited the Paisley 2021 stadium.

A commendable effort for such good causes.

WASPI fight continues

I’m sure many of you have heard me speak about the WASPI campaign before.

WASPI is a campaign group fighting for a fairer pensions arrangement for women who were born in the 1950s.

In 1995, a Bill was passed at Westminster that made the age at which men and women were eligible for state pension equal, at 65.

It was agreed then that the women affected should have 15 years notice of this change so that they had adequate time to alter their retirement plans.

However, the government didn’t bother to tell the women affected about the change.

Then, in 2011, the coalition government went a step further by accelerating the speed at which these changes would be implemented.

This has led to sincere hardship for many women who planned their futures around receiving a pension at the age of 60, which never materialised.

For ages now, myself and my SNP colleagues have been fighting alongside the WASPI women in calling for the government to fix this issue.

We have had countless debates and protests and still the government refuses to budge.

I spoke in Parliament again on this issue recently and was shocked by the Work and Pensions Minister’s response.

Instead of offering help to the women affected, he told them to go and get apprenticeships!

The complete disconnect from reality that this government suffers from is utterly confounding.

Their majority is tiny and many of their candidates who have now been elected pledged to support the WASPI women during the campaign.

It remains to be seen whether they will back their pledges with action.

We will continue to fight this fight until the government thinks again and changes its mind on this outrageous situation.

Graduating with honours

I was happy to go along to one of the University of the West of Scotland graduation ceremonies in Paisley recently.

It was really good to see all of the excited new graduates complete their journey at university as they filled the streets of Paisley.

Your academic time may have come to an end but now a new adventure can begin and I wish you all the best of luck in whatever you do next.