GORDON Brown’s promises during the 2014 Scottish independence have yet again “proven worthless”, it has been claimed.

The former prime minister has been criticised after saying that during all his time in politics, the current state of the UK is the worst poverty he has ever seen.

This, the SNP say, comes into sharp contrast with his pleas to stay in the Union during 2014.

During the indyref, the Labour politician urged Scots to stay within the United Kingdom to create a “more just society”.

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The party also pointed to when Brown said the UK welfare system “offers better protection for pensioners, disabled and the unemployed".

The comments back then show a stark difference in tone to now, with the former Labour leader expressing his shock at the current poverty levels in the UK, and despairing at the UK Government’s response to them.

Writing in The Guardian, Brown said: “In all my time in politics I have never witnessed so much poverty and hardship.”

He pointed to desperate families facing the worst of the cost of living crisis, saying: “This is poverty at its demeaning and degrading worst”.

He goes on: “Sadly the welfare state safety net has been torn apart … Food banks are now helping a stream of mothers unable to afford cookers to give their children hot food even once a week. They are among the nearly 4 million families who are already behind with their bills.

“So with only five weeks to go before the biggest hit to living standards for decades, it’s time to call a halt to the economic madness of allowing, at one and the same time, tax rises, food price hikes, escalating heating bills and real-terms benefit cuts – the quadruple whammy that will tip already hard-pressed families over the edge.”

Reacting to the column, SNP MSP Rona Mackay said Brown had changed his tune since 2014.

She said: “This is far from the first time and it certainly won’t be the last time that Gordon Brown’s promises have proved worthless.

“In 2014, he told us that Scotland staying in the UK would create a more socially just country. Now, eight years later, he bemoans food banks, bedding banks and the worst poverty he has ever seen. What a nerve the man has.

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“The UK has the worst poverty and income inequality rates for all of the 21st century amongst all its neighbours in north west Europe.

“Two recent reports - from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the UN – have both recognised the Scottish Government’s efforts, with its limited budget, to mitigate the worst impacts of austerity inflicted on the people of Scotland by the Westminster Tory government.

“Yet Gordon Brown cannot bring himself to recognise any of those Scottish Government efforts to fight poverty – such as our game-changing Scottish Child Payment. He refuses to acknowledge what Scotland can do with some powers to tackle poverty.

"Instead, he continues to campaign to keep Scotland shackled to broken Westminster.”