Labour MSP for Dumbarton, Jackie Baillie, has announced that her party has launched a Christmas campaign to tackle fuel poverty across Scotland.

Ms Baillie has revealed recent council figures which show that around 11,000 households in West Dunbartonshire and 18,000 households in Argyll and Bute lived in fuel poverty between 2014 and 2016.

Across Scotland one in four homes will spend this Christmas in fuel poverty, unable to afford to heat their homes.

Scottish Labour has pledged that they will do everything possible to ensure everyone has access to a warm, safe and affordable home by building more homes for social rent, regulating the private sector in Scotland, taking energy into public ownership and placing a cap on energy prices to keep bills affordable.

The party also wants tougher targets to be enshrined in the forthcoming Fuel Poverty legislation before the Scottish Parliament, including a commitment to eradicate fuel poverty by 2032, a definition of fuel poverty that includes more funding for rural communities and a minimum standard of energy efficiency in private rented sector housing.

Ms Baillie said: “Every single person in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh and Lomond should have access to a warm, safe and affordable home.

“Scotland is an energy-rich country, yet over a quarter of households are living in fuel poverty.

“In the run up to Christmas, we will be highlighting our plans to ensure that everyone has access to warm and affordable homes.

“The next Labour Governments at Holyrood and Westminster will take action to end the scandal of fuel poverty.”

West Dunbartonshire Council and the area’s Citizens Advice Bureau previously launched an initiative on fuel debt problems.

The Local Energy Awareness project also offered energy efficiency measures in a bid to reduce heating bills.

They stepped in after research found that one in six people cut back on food to cover their fuel bills, with 14 percent using credit cards and eight percent relying on payday loans.