INVERCLYDE'S re-elected MP has vowed to fight to bring new jobs to the area - and protect the most vulnerable from welfare cuts.

Following his thumping victory on Friday morning, Ronnie Cowan - elected to serve for the third time - spoke to the Tele on his plans for the next five years.

He says he will work with 'everyone and anyone' to attract industry to an area where unemployment remains stubbornly high.

But he also says there is an urgent need to help families struggling from years of austerity to make ends meet.

The SNP MP says his constituency door is open again - and declared he is back in business.

He warned Westminster that it was made clear to him on local doorsteps during his election campaign that people in Inverclyde are ready for change after the uncertainty of Brexit.

Mr Cowan said: "We are always working to attract industry into Inverclyde and bring in more jobs. There is in-work poverty but if we can get jobs in that pay more, that will make a difference to people's lives.

"My job is to work with everyone to make that happen. My team works very closely with council officers and we will do whatever we can."

After returning with an increased majority of over 7,000, the MP is keen to get back to work.

He added: "When we are back in the office the first thing we will do is open our casework again. There are so much to be done and people badly need our help.

"Our caseload is full of people struggling with Universal Credit and welfare cuts.

"When people come to us for help, they have been everywhere else. They often have nowhere else to go.

"We see the difficulties they are facing first hand and they are often running out of time. Many are not getting the money they are entitled to.

"We expect our caseloads on welfare cuts to continue, and sadly, likely increase.

"The Scottish Government will do all it can to alleviate and reform social security but it only has control of 15 per cent of it. There is only so much we can do."

Along with the 47 other members from his party returning to Westminster, Mr Cowan has vowed to do everything in his power to secure a second independence referendum - insisting that is what the people of Inverclyde want.

He said: "I fought my campaign on three prongs. fighting austerity, pro-independence and fighting Brexit.

"I was surprised on the doorsteps how many people told me that they had voted no five years ago but would vote yes in another referendum because of Brexit. There really is a sense of change among people."