A MIDWIFE is bidding to deliver a huge election shock after being named as the Conservative candidate for Inverclyde.

The party's local branch has selected Caroline Hollins to contest the seat in the Scottish Parliament election in May.

Ms Hollins is currently a professor of maternal health at Edinburgh’s Napier University who has published over 100 papers on pregnancy and childbirth, while she also has a degree in psychology.

She has previously stood for the party on three occasions and was within 1,300 votes of winning the Central Ayrshire constituency in the 2017 UK general election.

The prospective MSP says rebuilding communities in Inverclyde and ensuring they recover from the effects of the pandemic must be the top priority over the next five years.

Ms Hollins said: “I am delighted to be standing for the Scottish Conservatives in this seat in what is such a crucial election.

“Voters in Greenock and Inverclyde have a straight choice.

"It’s either a focus on our recovery with me or another independence referendum and a return to the politics of division with the SNP.

“Our communities have been devastated by the pandemic and that is where our full focus must be in the next parliament.

"As a midwife and someone passionate about health, I want us focused on tackling the backlog in our health service and providing critical support to patients."

The Tory Holyrood hopeful says she is putting employment at the forefront of her campaign.

She added: “We must also stand up for local jobs and livelihoods which remain under great threat and ensure support continues as restrictions remain in place.

“A vote for me is a vote for a focus on rebuilding Greenock and Inverclyde and stopping the nationalists' threat to take us back to the politics of division.”

The midwife kicked off her campaign by criticising the SNP's Stuart McMillan over the policy pledge of a laptop for every school pupil if re-elected.

She believes the announcement is too little too late over a year into the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Hollins said: “It is a bit rich for the SNP candidate to be talking up his party’s pledges on giving kids laptops now.

“Pupils in Inverclyde needed these devices when they began remote learning, not to be promised them now as a pre-election giveaway."

In addition to Ms Hollins and Mr McMillan, three other candidates are standing for election in Inverclyde.

They are: Francesca Brennan (Labour); Jacci Stoyle (LibDem) and John Burleigh (independent).

Voters go to the polls on May 6.