THE SNP has called on the Tories to face up to plunging “hundreds of thousands more people into poverty” due to the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC).

The party’s social justice spokesperson at Westminster, Neil Gray, has said the public must be allowed to see the internal assessment reports after the government announced it would release the documents in confidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee before the Christmas recess.

The UK Government was yesterday forced into releasing the Project Assessment Reviews, in a move similar to the one that compelled David Davis to release the 58 reports into the impact of Brexit last month – even though those papers were heavily redacted.

Labour yesterday attempted to invoke an arcane parliamentary procedure for the second time in a month to force the government’s hand.

The opposition had planned to call a vote in the Commons to make a “humble address” to the Queen requesting that she order ministers to release the reports conducted into UC. The party is hoping that disclosure of certain information may throw more weight behind calls to pause its introduction.

UC is gradually being rolled out across the UK to replace six older benefits.

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke confirmed that the government will release the documents but said, like Davis, he will consider redacting certain information, such as that which is commercially sensitive. Gauke added that the reports were being handed over in “exceptional circumstances” and did not set a precedent.

But that has not stopped the SNP from criticising the Tories and calling for them to make public the Project Assessment Reviews.

“This partial cave-in from the Tories has to be welcomed – but they should be published in full and anything less is really not good enough,” said Gray.

“The Information Commissioner’s Office has already said anything less than full public publication would not be enough. We must know the real damage being done by the way the Tories have presided over this callous roll out. So today’s partial U-turn by David Gauke looks like a tactic to get out of losing another embarrassing vote at Westminster on social security cuts, and it goes nowhere near enough.

“The Tories need to face up to the fact and the evidence that far from helping low-income families they are in fact plunging hundreds of thousands more into poverty, as stated this week by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.”

Labour MP Frank Field, who is chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee and a former welfare minister, had said earlier that Labour’s motion on UC was different to that on Brexit as it did not require the documents to be published.

“We are not Privy Counsellors, we’ve never been in a position like this,” he said. “I want to develop this, because we are in totally new constitutional waters.”

His Commons speech on the

issue left fellow MP Heidi Allen in tears as she rose to speak. Field’s address to parliament included an account of him persuading a man not to commit suicide, and he also told how in another case an organisation helped a child who was “crying through hunger”.