WITH St Andrew’s Day approaching, I’m wishing everyone memorable celebratory events. According to tradition, St Andrew found the boy with the loaves and fishes that miraculously fed 5,000.

In St Andrew’s name, societies and charities across the world help others and our St Andrew’s Cross Saltire, commemorated at Athelstaneford, is recognised as the banner of an open, welcoming society.

East Lothian is contributing to alleviating a humanitarian disaster via a scheme settling young Afghan refugees: those who claim that current asylum seekers are an ‘EU problem’ forget the hundreds of thousands who fled Vietnam in the late 1970s. Developed countries stepped up then: we must do so now, rejecting an inhumane ‘hostile environment’.

Recently, I encountered a constituent assisting a person in distress who had left a hostel in Edinburgh intent on walking to Northumberland. Disoriented and vulnerable, the man had confused North Berwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed, ending up destitute.

I managed to help him safely on his way, but this chance encounter underlined that, even in a caring society, individuals can fall though the net.

Shockingly, Tory broken promises on ‘levelling up’ train transport have just let whole towns and communities in the north of England fall through the fairness net.

The so-called Northern Powerhouse has been handed a second-class ticket, not the 21st-century infrastructure Boris Johnson ‘over-promised’.

As your constituency MSP, I led local activism to enhance rail connections for Dunbar, Haddington and East Linton and, although more needs to be done, everyone sees evidence of East Lothian’s prosperity around the stations from Dunbar through Drem, Longniddry, Prestonpans, Wallyford, Musselburgh and in North Berwick.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll pinpointed the knock-on impact for Scotland and East Lothian of the Tories’ u-turn on trains, challenging

Boris Johnson for wanting to ‘save the union’ but doing nothing to enhance rail links between the north of England and Scotland. The HS2 eastern line stops 248 miles short of Dunbar: Boris Johnson’s supposed levelling up agenda falls way short.