A GREENOCK-born MSP is urging the Scottish Government to come up with a rescue plan to help Inverclyde's town centres recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jamie Greene, Scottish Conservative MSP for West Scotland, is backing calls for a town centre coronavirus plan to help prevent shop closures across the country.

Mr Greene highlighted research which shows debit card spending across Scotland has plummeted by 37 per cent - with Greenock alone suffering a 48 per cent sales slump.

The Scottish Conservatives say they are calling for a 'buy local' campaign and would like to see a temporary scrapping of parking charges.

Tories also want to see a relaxation of rules around eating and drinking at tables on pavements, and have asked that the two metre social distancing rule is reviewed.

Mr Greene said that without radical action, Scotland could plunge into the 'deepest economic depression of modern times' and highlighted the acute nature of the problem locally.

He added: "Town centres in Inverclyde have been badly hit in recent months.

"The SNP government must use its powers to act now to save our high streets.

"As we ease lockdown measures hopefully in the coming weeks, I will certainly be encouraging everyone in the area to buy local."