EDINBURGH should have a directly-elected mayor to stand up for its needs and give the city fresh direction, an MSP has insisted.

Daniel Johnson, who represents Edinburgh Southern, insisted the problems affecting Scotland’s capital are being ignored and overlooked due to its apparent economic success.

Writing in the Edinburgh Evening News, he said: “But as we see inequality rise, people priced out of our city, sprawling suburbs, student housing rather than residential, Edinburgh clearly has its own issues and problems.”

READ MORE: Scotland's population is heading east and away from the countryside

Mr Johnson, who was Scottish Labour’s justice spokesman before resigning last month, said issues “can grow into problems and problems into crises”.

He said: “People in recent months have been questioning what kind of city Edinburgh is becoming.

"Residents increasingly feel squeezed out in favour of tourists - the so-called Disneyfication. This calls into question the direction and strategy for the city.

“And it's not just residents that feel the need for a clearer plan and strategy for the city.

"I have met with businesses, heritage groups and transport bosses all saying the same thing – we need a clearer plan for this city. A vision backed by investment in infrastructure and development that the city can sustain.

“The problem is, our city council has a poor track record on this. From stuttering tram projects, endless visions for Princes Street that never materialise and development plans that get overruled by government, to schools built short of spaces before they even open.”

Mr Johnson said he was not criticising individuals but warned the institutions governing the city “may no longer be fit for purpose”.

He added: “I think the time has come to ask whether Edinburgh needs a directly-elected mayor.

"Over the last few years, Andy Burnham has given fresh direction and impetus to Manchester’s status as a major city.

READ MORE: Edinburgh considers £2 tourist tax

"Sadiq Khan has not only stood up to Donald Trump, his leadership has seen London take air pollution more seriously than any other city in the UK.

“There are of course critics who argue mayors can lead to personality, presidential-style politics.

"But what strikes me about mayors is two things. One, accountability – mayors stand or fall on their record. Two, mayors need to provide vision and leadership for their cities.

“These are both things that Edinburgh needs. Otherwise it will continue to be ignored and taken for granted. I think it is time for a mayor for Edinburgh.”