Photo: Number10/JayAllen/Flickr - Crown Copyright (cc2.0)

The Prime Minister has defended controversial comments by her Secretary of State that the rape clause provides victims with “double support.”

Ian Blackford MP described the Prime Minister’s response as shameful, and asked what kind of society we live in when a parent is required to fill in their child’s name on a form to confirm they were born as the result of rape, to receive child tax credits.

Esther McVey was being questioned in the Scottish Parliament over the UK government’s position on the two child limit and the non-consensual sex exemption – commonly known as the rape clause – when she said the policy could offer “double support.”

Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey MP. Photo: Public Domain.

Rape Crisis Scotland have said “hinging benefits on proving trauma isn’t a choice, it’s a disgrace and one which may well re-traumatise women” and the Chair of the British Medical Association in Scotland has said it is “fundamentally damaging for women – forcing them to disclose rape and abuse at a time and in a manner not of their choosing, at pain of financial penalty.”

A demonstration against the two child policy – one year since its implementation – will be held on tomorrow, Thursday 19 April at 5.30pm, on The Mound, Edinburgh.

SNP launch campaign against tax credits ‘rape clause’. Photo Credit: SNP/Alison Thewliss MP.

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said: “What kind of society do we live in when a parent is required to fill in a form with their child’s name, to confirm they were born as the result of rape?

“I didn’t think the Tories could sink any lower on this issue, but they have once again outdone themselves.

“Charities and agencies are lining up to tell the UK government how reckless this policy is, that it will push 200,000 children below the poverty line, and that women claiming tax credits for a third child conceived due to rape will have to prove the point during an interview, yet no one wants to listen.

“This behaviour is inhumane. After a disastrous week for this Tory government, this is yet another example of their callous policies causing real harm.”