Health secretary Alex Neil had a brief encounter today, when he took to Dalmarnock Road in Bridgeton in the heart of Glasgow's East End with a line of knickers and glamorous models.

But Mr Neil was going undercover for a good cause - and indeed in the name of ministerial business - as the politician was officially opening Vanilla Blush, Europe's first shop specialising in glamour lingerie for stoma care users.

Mr Neil praised Nicola Dames, the shop owner and founder of the company, for her enterprise in bringing glamour into the lives of people in a challenging situation.

He said: "Nicola has shown what can be done by bringing her unique product on to the high street.

"Not only has she been enterprising and helped the regeneration of the East End by locating in it, but, as health secretary, I commend her for doing something very positive to help those with colostomies feel and be positive about themselves."

Nicola, a 37-old married mother of two, began Vanilla Blush as an online business in 2008 following bowel surgery which meant that she had to use a colostomy bag.

"All the underwear available was frumpy," said Dublin-born Nicola, who lives with her husband, Simon, a director of the company, in Tollcross.

"I decided to change all that, and our garments sell worldwide, giving us the confidence to take them on to the high street.

"We chose Bridgeton as an up-and-coming area, just five minutes from the city centre by rail, and we look forward to helping personal shoppers with our specialist knowledge, and personal experience when they come to Vanilla Blush."

Baillie Liz Cameron, Glasgow City Council's regeneration supremo, also attended the opening as well as Ian Manson, chief executive of Clyde Gateway, the East End regeneration agency which is supporting Vanilla Blush in its new venture.