PUSHING ahead with the planned cut to Universal Credit would expose "an absence of basic humanity and moral compass", Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister said the only conclusion it will be possible to reach if Boris Johnson goes ahead with the move is that he "simply has no shame". 

Ms Sturgeon made the comments during her speech to the SNP's conference, which is being held virtually.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak previously said the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit was always intended to be a temporary measure during the pandemic.

But Ms Sturgeon slammed plans to end the uplift in October.

She said: "To even contemplate a cut like this displays a lack of basic understanding of the reality of life for those on the breadline - or maybe it’s actually a lack of care.

"But to go ahead and implement this cut would expose an absence of basic humanity and moral compass.

"Now, it’s no secret that I’m not Boris Johnson’s biggest fan, and no doubt the feeling is mutual.

"But I really struggle to believe that anyone’s conscience would allow them to proceed with this.

"So if this deeply cruel cut does happen, the only conclusion it will be possible to reach is that Boris Johnson simply has no shame.

"Please, Prime Minister, for the sake of millions of desperate people across the country, do not let that be history’s verdict upon you."

Ms Sturgeon said the cut would be the "biggest overnight reduction to a basic rate of social security since the 1930s".

She said: "It will affect millions across the UK - and hundreds of thousands here in Scotland.

"In Scotland alone it risks pushing 60,000 people - including 20,000 children - into the formal definition of poverty."