THE SNP'S Stuart McMillan has hit back at Conservative criticism of the Scottish Government over falling life expectancy rates in Inverclyde.

Tory Jamie Greene said the decline - revealed in a report by National Records of Scotland - was down to a 'failure of governance' by Mr McMillan's party.

Mr McMillan said: "I accept that more action is needed to improve people’s health and by extension their life expectancy, and I agree that more jobs need to be created locally to boost Inverclyde’s economy, but Mr Greene’s complete failure to acknowledge the impact of former and current UK Tory governments on Inverclyde’s deprivation levels is a slap in the face to local working-class households, who know only too well how little the Tories care about people in poverty."