CONSERVATIVE MSP Maurice Corry has faced a backlash among fellow politicians over comments made in an Advertiser column recently.

The West of Scotland MSP has been accused of “wilful delusion” after referring to the controversial Universal Credit (UC) scheme as a “positive change”.

Writing in an opinion piece in our March 28 edition, Mr Corry said: “I don’t think anyone would expect the rollout of a completely new system to go flawlessly”, before adding that he had spoken to some constituents who viewed their experience of the new system as “superb”.

READ MORE: Universal Credit 'has been a change for the better'

Rivals have since criticised those comments for an apparent dismissal of the harm the widely condemned introduction of UC has caused.

Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said: “Maurice is not a stupid man but this was a seriously stupid thing to say when we know that people have taken their own lives after being forced into the Universal Credit system.

“No credible organisation involved in supporting those in poverty believes this is working. It is wilful delusion to suggest otherwise.

“Even the United Nations have condemned the UK Government’s cruel approach to the social security system and those dependent on it, so on what basis do the Tories think this is working?”

Mr Corry’s comments came just a week after new figures revealed that more than 7,000 food parcels had been issued by independent food banks across Argyll and Bute in the last year.

The area’s MP, Brendan O’Hara, also slammed the impact of Universal Credit recently when he revealed in Westminster the plight of a Helensburgh family who turned up to his constituency office starving and desperate for help following a botched UC application.

READ MORE: 'Starving' Helensburgh family let down by Universal Credit, says MP

Mr O’Hara said: “Only those who have no knowledge or experience of Universal Credit or who are wilfully blind to its effects, could describe Universal Credit as a positive change.

“I have people turning up at my office, people in our community, who are starving.

“They cannot afford to eat, they cannot afford to buy baby milk – and that’s the harsh reality of Universal Credit. There is nothing positive about it.

“It has been an unmitigated disaster.

“Even the Tory work and pensions secretary herself has now acknowledged it is causing increased demand for food banks and that is simply unacceptable.

“Maurice Corry would be well-advised to listen to the acknowledged concerns within his own Tory party.”

Ross Greer added: “The unquestionably negative impact of Universal Credit was understood long before it was rolled out across the UK, thanks to the extensive trials in certain communities.

“As usual, the UK government doggedly refused to accept the reality in front of them and pushed ahead with the rollout anyway, making the situation much worse.

“If Maurice Corry, or any other Tory MSP would like to join me on a visit to one of the many food banks across the west of Scotland, they will be told in no uncertain terms that the Universal Credit rollout has forced more families to depend on their food parcels.

“Is that the ‘positive change’ Mr Corry is talking about?”