MICHELLE Ballantyne is coming under pressure to resign as Scottish Tory welfare spokesperson over her “Dickensian” demand that parents on benefits don’t have children.

In a Holyrood debate on Wednesday, the MSP said people on benefits should not “have as many children as they like”.

Ballantyne was accused of hypocrisy as she had claimed child benefits and tax credits for her own six children.

WATCH: Tory MSP's response so brutal even her colleague can't watch

The outrageous comment in the middle of a debate on ending austerity, poverty and inequality visibly shocked other MSPs in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

Even her own Tory colleagues seemed to be taken aback by the bluntness of her words.

During her speech the Tory said she was proud of reforms brought in by the UK Government at Westminster.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell intervened to ask if she was proud to be associated about the so-called rape clause.

Ballantyne replied: “The two-child limit is about fairness. It is fair that people on benefit cannot have as many children as they like, while people who work and pay their way and don’t pay decisions, have to make decisions about the number of children they can have.”

MSP Tom Arthur said the Tory’s position was untenable: “Michelle Ballantyne’s comments were vile and ignorant – and should have no place in Scottish political life.

“Given her comments, and what we now know about her hypocrisy and her form on the issue, Michelle Ballantyne’s position as Tory welfare spokesperson is completely untenable.”

He added: “That Ruth Davidson thought someone with Ms Ballantyne’s views would be acceptable in this role is all we need to know about the Scottish Tories.”

The Tories insisted Ballantyne was not resigning.

A spokesman told The National: “If everyone who disagreed with Tom Arthur had to resign Holyrood would be a lonely place.”

The issue was raised at First Minister’s Questions, with Nicola Sturgeon calling the comments “appalling and ignorant of the reality that is faced by many families”.

Sturgeon added: “The comments were appalling because the idea that being poor should be a barrier to having a family is Dickensian, and shows the Scottish Conservatives in their true colours.

“The comments were ignorant because the rape clause will not apply only when children are first born: from next year it will apply to children of any age when a family’s circumstances change such that they need to claim benefits.

“To defend the rape clause misses the point, which is that any of us can experience a change in circumstances at any time.

“Michelle Ballantyne seemed to suggest that if a family who had three children while the parents were in work were suddenly to fall into different circumstances, those children should be penalised as a result, which is absolutely shameful.”

Yesterday evening Ballantyne refused to apologise when confronted by the media over the comments.

“It probably didn’t come out as well as it should have,” she said, “But I think it is quite right that we all have to make decisions about the income we have and the number of children we can have accordingly.

“If you have an uncapped benefit, the people who pay for that are the people who aren’t on benefits, and they have to limit the number of children they can have.”

She admitted she had claimed child benefit for each of her six children, as she had been on an income of less than £25,000. Ballantyne told the journalists: “Most people would tell you they can’t afford to have more than a couple of children.”