Battle lines drawn along ‘rape clause’
SNP’s Ferrier calls for Le Blond to lay out view
Margaret Ferrier has called on her Conservative opponent to condemn the so-called“rape clause”ahead of next month’s General Election.
SNP candidate Ms Ferrier officially launched her campaign for re-election at the weekend.
And she has written to Ann Le Blond, the Tory candidate, calling on her to set out her opinion on the controversial rule.
Under changes to benefit entitlement, child tax credit payments are now made only to the first two children in a family. However, children born from non-consensual sex are exempt from the rule.
Mothers who have been raped are required to talk to healthcare professionals, a social worker or an approved rape charity. Opponents of the clause say this amounts to women having to “prove” they have been raped and relive the nightmare again.
Ms Ferrier described the clause as “one of the worst policies to come from this increasingly shameful Tory party”.
She added: “Ann Le Blond has been eager to get in to politics – standing as a candidate for Holyrood in Renfrewshire last year, and as a councillor last week – but political office comes with responsibility. I sincerely hope she will join me, the SNP, women’s welfare groups, faith leaders, trade unions and child poverty campaigners in condemning the rape clause.
“The SNP has shown time and again we are the true opposition to the callous Tories at Westminster and my party will continue to be so after June 8. This election is a straight fight between the SNP and the Tories, and I hope the people of Rutherglen and Cambuslang put their trust in me once more to continue representing them at Westminster.”
Ms Le Blond, who was elected as a Tory councillor for Cambuslang West two weeks ago, said: “Of course, within the context of that policy, it is important to have exemptions for people who have multiple births, for example, or those who have more than two children as a result of rape.
“This is a difficult issue and the DWP have sought to ensure that rape survivors can access support in as sensitive a way as possible.
“Of course, the SNP government in Edinburgh has the power to remove the two-child cap if it wishes. If it brings forward such proposals then my colleagues in the Scottish Parliament will consider them carefully.”
Attack Margaret Ferrier
Review Ann Le Blond