BORIS Johnson must come out of hiding and recall the Westminster parliament to bring in measures which will tackle the growing cost of living crisis, the SNP have demanded.

The outgoing Prime Minister and his Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi were both on holiday on Friday last week when the Bank of England (BoE) warned of an incoming lengthy recession and a hike to interest rates, predicted to be the biggest squeeze on household finances for 60 years.

Energy prices are set to skyrocket this winter too, with Ofgem confirming they will update the price cap every three months instead of six, and that bills are expected to reach an average of £4000 per year by January 2023.

As the cost of living crisis grows, Johnson and the contenders to replace him, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, have been urged to take action to stop millions from being plunged into poverty.

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Former PM Gordon Brown waded into the debate and called for the Tories to put an emergency budget in place, while Truss and Sunak continued to bicker over whether or not cutting taxes is the right thing to do.

And now, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has demanded the “missing in action” PM take action after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that people will have to wait until Johnson’s replacement has moved into Number 10 before they can expect any further cost of living support.

Blackford (below) demanded that the House of Commons is recalled before September so that MPs can debate what further help is needed, particularly for those at the sharp end of the crisis and on low incomes.

The National: Ian Blackford MP at a previous session of parliament

He said: “Every day people are waking up to warnings that the Tory-made cost-of-living crisis is spiralling out of control – with each report more worrying than the last. Yet the UK Prime Minister is missing in action.

“Boris Johnson might be on his way out – and rightly so – but for now he is still the Prime Minister, with duties to protect the people who live here. He must come out of hiding and recall Parliament immediately so MPs can get around the table to figure out how best to support people through this cost-of-living crisis.”

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP said that the public cannot be expected to wait several weeks for government assistance as “people need help now”.

He added: “If Boris Johnson will not do the right thing by recalling Parliament and bringing in further targeted support for those being hit the hardest by this crisis, then he must immediately devolve the powers to Holyrood so we can help people in Scotland.

“Or better yet, he could respect democracy and grant a Section 30 order so we can escape this incompetent, out-of-touch Tory government for good and do what is best for Scotland with the full powers of independence.”

It comes as Truss vowed to immediately cut taxes and reverse the National Insurance rise “immediate” if she becomes the next PM, which her competitor Sunak claimed will fuel inflation, which the BoE said is heading for 13% by the end of the year.

Truss, who is the frontrunner to take over from Johnson, also came under criticism for ruling out direct support to people and focussing on tax instead. Trade minister Penny Mordaunt, who is backing the Foreign Secretary’s leadership bid, denied the claims on Sky News and claimed she had been “misrepresented”.

The Scottish Greens said that the shambolic cost of living crisis has shown that the current UK administration is “completely incapable of governing”.

Ross Greer MSP (below) told The National: “The Tory leadership pantomime has shown that whether Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak takes the reins, they won’t have any solutions to help ordinary people make it through the cost of living catastrophe.

The National: The Green's finance spokesman MSP Ross Greer

“Tory policies will lead to household energy bills hitting record highs, and neither the outgoing Prime Minister nor either candidate has shown any interest in doing anything to stop it. Instead, they want to cut taxes for their wealthy mates, at a time when families will need the support of public services more than ever before.

“The sooner we put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands and get rid of this lot, the better.”

Allies of both camps criticised the other side’s plans. Sunak’s team were on the offensive over Truss’s tax cut plans over the weekend, with Oliver Dowden labelling Truss’s plans “insuffient”.

He claimed that with energy bills set to reach £4000, Truss’s plan to reverse the NI hike would only benefit a worker on the living wage by around £60 a year, whereas those on higher incomes would make greater gains.

Meanwhile, former cabinet minister John Redwood, a Truss backer, dubbed Sunak “Mr Flip Flop”.