South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has condemned the local Tory politicians who backed the “rape clause” during a Scottish Parliament debate on the controversial UK Government policy.
Ms McAlpine was commenting after the “rape clause” was backed by ALL of the Tory party’s politicians, including their representatives in south Scotland - Oliver Mundell, Finlay Carson, Rachael Hamilton and Brian Whittle.
The majority of Scotland’s MSPs, however, supported an SNP motion condemning the policy. The SNP motion, with amendments from Labour and the Greens, was passed 91-31.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“Even by the Tories’ low standards, the rape clause is a totally disgusting, dehumanising policy.
“Tory leader Ruth Davidson told the Scottish Parliament that forcing survivors of sexual violence to relive their assaults was worth it if it helped reduce the UK deficit.
“And not one of the Tories who subsequently stood up to defend this policy would take an intervention from MSPs.
“This just reminds us how toxic the Conservative Party really is.
“Survivors of rape deserve our unquestioning support and understanding – not stigma, suspicion and invasive bureaucracy.
“Shame on the south Scotland Tories - Oliver Mundell, Finlay Carson, Rachael Hamilton and Brian Whittle - who backed their party’s repugnant rape clause.”
The new policy introduced by the Tory government at Westminster means women can only claim tax credits for two children. For subsequent children to be eligible, women have to prove that the pregnancy was a result of rape.
The Tory rape clause came into effect on 6 April without any parliamentary vote, requiring women to fill in an eight-page form to prove they have been raped.
The regressive policy was first brought to public attention by SNP MP Alison Thewliss who launched a campaign to scrap the rape clause.
The Tory policy has since attracted the scrutiny of the United Nations and was last week condemned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.