"DESPITE his bumbling image, Boris Johnson is as hard as it gets" – Scots MP Kirsten Oswald has accused the Prime Minister of resurrecting the Tories' "nasty party" image.

Oswald, the deputy leader of the SNP's Westminster group, today hit out at the Prime Minister over his government's track record on social security and international aid.

And she said the Conservative administration's policies will have a "catastrophic impact" on the lives of the most vulnerable.

Twenty years ago, Theresa May told her party's conference: "Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies. You know what some people call us – the nasty party."

Now Oswald, who represents East Renfrewshire, says Johnson has brought that back by u-turning on plans to extend eligibility for statutory sick pay to employees on lower incomes and ending the £20 top-up on Universal Credit for struggling families.

She also criticised the decision to renege on legal commitments and manifesto promises by slashing international aid spending by £4 billion.

READ MORE: Tory ex-welfare ministers pile pressure on Rishi Sunak over Universal Credit plans

In a strongly-worded statement, Oswald said: "Theresa May was the first senior Tory to accept that the party's 'nasty party' image was a barrier to getting elected, but the hostile environment she introduced as Home Secretary, the Windrush scandal and her handling of the Grenfell tragedy showed that she was no different to her predecessors.

"Boris Johnson likes to give the impression of being a 'likeable rogue', but the reality of his government is that they have little interest in helping those who fall on tough times in the UK, the vulnerable, or those living with poverty or conflict across the globe.

"Despite his bumbling image, Boris Johnson is as hard as it gets when it comes to favouring his chums over those who really need help or a hand up.

"With each decision he makes to take money from the poorest while splashing out on vanity projects he confirms that the nasty party is alive and well.

"To their shame, the Scottish Conservatives have fallen in right behind the Prime Minister and dutifully troop through the voting lobbies to impose these nasty policies that have no support here in Scotland."

READ MORE: Tories urged to use summer break to consider impacts of Universal Credit cut

Before the 2019 election, the Westminster government pledged to bring in statutory sick pay changes to benefit 2 million workers.

But last week that changed and a consultation response said "now is not the right time to introduce changes to the sick pay system".

Labour today said it would instigate reforms if it was in power, bringing in payments for more than 6m self-employed and gig economy workers.

The Universal Credit top-up was brought in on a temporary basis as a pandemic relief measures. Children's charities are amongst those who have since campaigned for the step to become permanent.

However, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed this will end in September, as will the furlough scheme.

Responding to Oswald's comments, a UK Government spokesperson commented: "Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for 6m people during the pandemic, and we announced the temporary uplift as part of a £400 billion package of measures put in place that will last well beyond the end of the roadmap.

READ MORE: Less than one per cent of UK Government fund to help business given to Scotland

"Our focus now is on our multi-billion pound Plan for Jobs, which will support people in the long-term by helping them learn new skills and increase their hours or find new work.

"We’re committed to putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families, which is why this year we provided a pay rise to 2m of the UK’s lowest-paid through a higher minimum wage."