A Tory MSP has made the jaw-dropping claim that the ‘rape clause’ is a political invention in a shocking interview.
Brian Whittle, MSP for South Scotland, told Holyrood Magazine that “there is no such thing as a rape clause. That’s an invention.”
The Tory MSP went on to dismiss the impact of the two-child cap on children affected, saying “the child will not [suffer]”, claimed that he had not been approached by constituents struggling with the cost of living and questioned why he was expected to answer for Tory policies.
Mr Whittle also defended previous claims that foodbank use in his constituency was falling – despite it rising 12% since the rollout of Universal Credit, and claimed that “if you step across the threshold of a foodbank, you’re saying, ‘I’ve lost control of my own life’”.
Commenting, Shona Robison MSP said: “This is shows clearly how completely out of touch with the real world the Scottish Tories are.
“They are as much in denial as their Westminster counterparts.
“Brian Whittle has shown total contempt for victims of rape and coercion with his comments, when the reality is that the Tory government has inflicted this policy on low income families.
“The ‘rape clause’ is not a political invention – it’s an utterly horrific and abhorrent invention of the Tory government, and last year impacted on 190 women who had to fill in the 8 page form to get financial support for their child.
“It is staggering that Mr Whittle not only fails to understand the reality of Tory welfare cuts, but thinks he shouldn’t be expected to answer for the callous actions and policies of his own party.
“He seems to be in total denial about the hardship and misery his own party is causing.
“Experts have repeatedly provided evidence that demand for foodbanks has risen due to Tory welfare cuts and policies such as benefit sanctions and the roll-out of Universal Credit.
“When the Tories turn up for their foodbank selfie, who do they think that food is going to?
“It is time for the Tories to take responsibilities for their own damaging welfare policies and face up to the real life consequences they are causing their constituents.”