FORMER prime minister Gordon Brown’s latest call for “radical action” has been criticised by the SNP.

The ex-Labour leader has demanded that the UK and Scottish governments work together to form a special joint council to agree new measures to “prosecute a war on poverty”, complaining that the current systems at both Westminster and Holyrood were not effective.

But a spokesperson for one Scottish Government minister said as a man who fought to keep the “political status quo” alive, Brown’s intervention is a “bit rich”.

The spokesperson for Communities Minister Aileen Campbell said: “People in Scotland remember Gordon Brown as the man who fought tooth and nail to protect the political status quo and ensure that Scotland would continue to live under Tory Governments that we didn’t vote for.

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“It is therefore a bit rich for him to now complain about a disjointed political system and demand that we spend hundreds of millions of pounds after our resource budget has been cut by £1.5 billion by the Tories over the last decade.

“The SNP Government is doing everything it can – under the financial and constitutional constraints that Gordon Brown ensured would be placed upon us – to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland.”

They went on: “We have set in statute our ambition to eradicate child poverty in Scotland and are introducing our game-changing new Scottish Child Payment, offering £10 a week per child to low-income families by the end of 2022 – with early roll-out for families with a child under six by Christmas this year.

“In 2018-19, we invested more than £1.4bn in support, which was targeted on low-income families from housing to childcare, and an annual £100m to mitigate the worst impacts of UK Government welfare cuts, which are the main reason that child poverty is projected to rise.

“We have urged the UK Government many times to take action on this and reverse their cuts, as have a range of charities and even the UN.”

The former PM had been speaking in Edinburgh at an event organised by Our Scottish Future.

He said it was time to “think beyond current conflicts” between the two Governments and do “what best meets the needs and aspirations of Scottish people - not what best suits the ideologies of political parties”.