BORIS Johnson has today been branded a 'bumbling idiot' in a scathing attack by Inverclyde's MP over the prime minister's handling of Brexit.

Ronnie Cowan opened fire on the PM, who has been widely condemned for the timing of his suspension of parliament - proroguing.

Critics say it is a deliberate ploy to thwart MPs from preventing a no-deal Brexit on October 31 - something judges from Scotland's highest civil court agreed with in a landmark ruling on Wednesday.

Mr Cowan, who helped launch the successful legal bid, pulled no punches in his assessment of Mr Johnson's handling of the process.

He spoke out as he defended his decision not to vote for an early general election when the PM tabled a motion for one at Westminster on Monday before the five-week shutdown of parliament.

The SNP MP said: "I will not be led into a trap by a bumbling idiot of a prime minister who is attempting to circumvent the will of parliament.

"If Boris Johnson wants an election he must obey the law and take a no-deal Brexit off the table. "It is beyond belief that the prime minister is disrespecting democracy by seeking to shut down parliament and railroad through an extreme Brexit against the will of parliament and the people.

"Any form of Brexit would be devastating for Inverclyde. "Crashing out of the EU with no deal at all would not only breach Scotland's vote to remain, including the 63.8 per cent of Inverclyde voters who voted 'remain', but it would also push the UK into a recession, threatening 100,000 Scottish jobs, and inflicting lasting harm on living standards, public services and the economy.

"Once the threat of no-deal is off the table, we will move for an early election."

Monday's vote saw the PM failed to secure the support of the 434 MPs needed to take the country to the polls.

Mr Cowan was one of 303 parliamentarians who did not vote.

He said: "It is clear there must be an early election - but it cannot happen while the Tory government is threatening to subvert the law to force through a catastrophic no-deal Brexit on October 31. "When the right time comes I shall vote for a general election and I expect that will be in the autumn."

MPs are currently scheduled to return to parliament on October 14 while the UK Supreme Court is expected to rule on the suspension next week.