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I was pleased to take part in a debate on the protection of retail workers, having worked in the sector myself some years ago.

Shop workers across North Ayrshire and Arran have expressed concerns about safety in their workplace. Recent figures from across the UK show that more than 12,000 staff who work in Co-op stores have been verbally abused at work, 1300 have been subjected to physical abuse or threats and 800 have been attacked with weapons. The Association of Convenience Stores says there have been 200,000 incidents of violence towards shop workers since June 2019.

I voiced my frustration with UK Government delays to the publication of the findings of their call to evidence on the subject. Those who turn up to do their jobs in the retail sector have a fundamental right to be as safe as they possibly can be. Of all workers, they are perhaps the most vulnerable to this kind of intimidation, and we need to do more to protect those who work in our shops.

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