FOREIGN Secretary Boris Johnson has faced calls from the SNP to introduce an immediate embargo on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and to back an international probe into allegations of human rights abuses in Yemen.

The UK has licensed more than £2.8 billion worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia since the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen began in March 2015, and there are fears that smart bombs with laser-guided systems produced in Fife may have been used in attacks on civilians.

SNP MP Margaret Ferrier today made a fresh call for the launch of an independent international investigation into allegations of humanitarian law breaches, amid mounting evidence that Saudi Arabian forces are supporting Yemen’s government to commit alleged war crimes that have resulted in hundreds of children being killed.

The SNP has already accused the UK Government of misleading the public over the crisis after it was forced to retract written and oral statements to parliament which said ministers had assessed that Saudi Arabia was not in breach of international humanitarian law in Yemen.

The admission, on the final day of Parliament before the summer recess, has led to calls by SNP politicians for an investigation into Saudi behaviour in Yemen and a suspension of UK arms sales.

The Foreign Office said the incorrect statements – made by three different ministers, some as far back as six months ago – were errors and did not represent an attempt to mislead MPs over its assessment of the Saudi campaign.

Ferrier said the correction of the record in the Commons showed the government had carried out no assessment on whether the Saudi-led coalition was targeting civilians in Yemen.

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP said that Johnson had a “moral obligation” to a agree to an arms sales ban as she accused the newly appointed Foreign Secretary and the Tory government of having “failed in its duties” to promote human rights.

Ferrier said: “The admission that the UK Government has carried out absolutely no assessment on possible breaches of humanitarian law during the conflict in Yemen is deeply worrying – and makes the case for an international investigation all the more pressing.

“It’s time for the international, independent investigation into potential breaches of humanitarian law, which the SNP has long called for – and while this investigation is ongoing, there must be an embargo on the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia to ensure civilians are not targeted in the meantime.

“The UK and all members of the international community have a moral obligation to people in Yemen – and by sneaking out corrections like this, it’s clear that this UK Government has completely failed in its duties so far and action must be taken.

“It’s time for the UK government and international partners to carry out the assessment on the possible targeting of civilians by Saudi-led forces which MPs were led to believe had already been undertaken, as well as examining other potential breaches of humanitarian law. Failure to do so would be completely unacceptable.”

The Foreign Office, responding to Ferrier, said it had carried out “careful risk assessment” in granting licenses for trade exports to Saudi Arabia.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “The UK is committed to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen, and hosted talks this week with international partners to drive progress.

“We support the UN-led negotiations in Kuwait, and urge all parties to abide by the current Cessation of Hostilities. The clarifications ensure consistency with numerous other Parliamentary responses, and in no way represent a change in policy.

“The UK continues to monitor the conflict in Yemen closely, and relevant information gathered from that monitoring is taken into account as part of the careful risk assessment for the licensing of exports to Saudi Arabia.”