PATRICK Grady has become the first of Glasgow's new intake of MPs to make his maiden speech in Westminster.


The Glasgow North SNP MP made his address during the Britain in the World debate in the House of Commons last night.

Addressing the chamber, Mr Grady spoke fondly of his constituency, describing it as "the city in miniature" and said: "Every aspect of city life - high density social housing, transient student populations, mature residential areas, supermarkets, business parks and rows of independent traders - can be found in Glasgow North.

"I hope to represent all this diversity to the best of my ability.

"The seat is home to many musicians - including the world-renowned percussionist Steve Forman and artists...perhaps most notably Alasdair Gray, who popularised the saying that has resonated across Scotland in recent years: that we must always work as if we live in the early days of a better nation."

The former charity worker also spoke out about tackling poverty both at home and abroad in his new role as the group's spokesman on International development

He also paid tribute tribute to his predecessor, former Labour's Anne McKechin, who he unseated by around 9000 votes in last month's general election to become Glasgow's first SNP MP.

He said: "Ann represented the constituency diligently and well for fourteen years, and I know she was respected by her constituents and by her colleagues in this House.

"Ann was known particularly for her commitment to international development issues, and this is certainly something we have in common."

Speaking after the debate, Mr Grady said: "I used the chance to note that poverty is a scandal wherever it exists - in areas of Glasgow North or in areas of Malawi where I once lived.

"Ending poverty and building a more peaceful future is possible both at home and abroad - but it needs a willingness from political leaders to put the poorest and most vulnerable first.

"The SNP was elected on a clear mandate to oppose Tory and Labour austerity, and having made my maiden speech, I now look forward to continue speaking out on these issues on behalf of people in Glasgow North during future debates in the House of Commons."

Former First Minister Alex Salmond was the first of the SNP members to participate in last night's debate, and said he, and the rest of his party " intend to make Scotland's voice heard in European and international affairs across the range of responsibilities."

He also called for further clarification of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, which was delayed from publication until after the election.

Mr Salmond said: " It is now 12 years, 2 months, and 13 days since this House voted for the illegal invasion of Iraq.

"It is 5 years, 11 months and 14 days since the announcement of the Chilcot commission.

"I do hope the front bench, when summarising this debate, will be able to give us some indication when country and houses of parliament are going to be informed of the findings of that commission."

Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry is expected to make her maiden speech later today.