NICOLA Sturgeon has led a heartfelt tribute to an MSP after she returned to Parliament following cancer treatment.

Cunninghame South MSP Ruth Maguire was welcomed back to Holyrood after successful treatment against stage three cervical cancer.

Maguire took a medical leave of absence just weeks after the Scottish Parliament election in May.

The politician was diagnosed in April 2021, with her doctors telling her the condition was serious but treatable.

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The MSP received a warm welcome at the Scottish Parliament.

Before responding to a question from the SNP MSP, the First Minister said: “Can I also say how brilliant it is to have Ruth Maguire back with us.

“As a friend and colleague, indeed, the MSP from our hometown it is absolutely brilliant to see her looking so well and back here in Parliament.”

Presiding Officer Alison Johnston also welcomed Maguire back. She said: “I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the parliament to welcome Miss Maguire back.”

Maguire previously thanked those who have shown her kindness throughout her journey, saying before the New Year: “I’m so grateful for the love & kindness shown to me this year,” she said.

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“Your thoughts, prayers & good wishes were of huge comfort.

“I’m pleased to say my treatment was successful and I look forward to getting back to work for my constituents in the New Year.”

At the time, the First Minister called the news of her return “the best news” while Public health minister Maree Todd said it was “wonderful news”.