McVey at­tacked over rape clause

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY LAURA PATER­SON

Scot­land’s first min­is­ter has branded the work and pen­sions sec­re­tary “out of touch” for claim­ing the rape clause could help sup­port rape vic­tims.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence to a Holy­rood Com­mit­tee, Es­ther McVey was heck­led as she spoke on the rape clause, where women have to prove con­cep­tion through non-con­sen­sual sex to qual­ify for tax cred­its for a third child.

She said this of­fers women po­ten­tially “dou­ble sup­port” through money and an op­por­tu­nity to talk they may have “never had be­fore”.

Speak­ing af­ter her speech at the STUC an­nual congress, Ni­cola Sturgeon said: “To me that

“I think most peo­ple think the rape clause is just ab­hor­rent”

just il­lus­trates how out of touch Es­ther McVey and the Tory govern­ment are on these re­ally sen­si­tive is­sues of so­cial se­cu­rity pol­icy.

“I think most peo­ple think the rape clause is just ab­hor­rent – the very no­tion of ask­ing a wo­man or ex­pect­ing a wo­man to prove she has been raped in or­der to ac­cess ben­e­fits for her chil­dren, no wo­man should even have to con­tem­plate that”

Labour said Ms McVey’s pre­sen­ta­tion of the rape clause was “skin crawl­ing”, the Lib Dems said it was “de­luded” and the Greens said she tried to “de­fend the in­de­fen­si­ble”.

Ear­lier, the sec­re­tary was heck­led by another au­di­ence mem­ber who shouted “you can’t get into work if you’re dead” at her as she ar­gued Uni­ver­sal Credit is a “sup­port­ive sys­tem” aimed at help­ing peo­ple into work.

The au­di­ence mem­ber shouted out about a per­son who took their own life fol­low­ing sanc­tions and the meet­ing was sus­pended.

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