Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has come under fire from her political opponents after refusing to condemn the controversial ‘Rape Clause’.
During heated exchanges at First Minister’s Questions the MSP was criticised by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.
Cuts to welfare introduced by the Conservative Government limit child tax credits to two children. Women giving birth to more than two children are denied additional payments unless they can prove they were raped.
Before becoming eligible for additional payments, women have to fill in an eight page form revealing details of the rape. The form must then be signed by a third party.
Invited to condemn the policy, a defiant Ruth Davidson said: “If the first minister doesn’t like the two-child tax policy, she can change it.”
Describing the policy as “utterly abhorrent” Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have just seen in this chamber the true colours of Ruth Davidson and the Conservatives.
“Given the opportunity to stand up clearly and join others in this chamber and say the rape clause – a clause that forces a woman to prove she has been raped before claiming benefits for her child – is morally and in principle wrong, Ruth Davidson refuses to do so.
“That is utterly shameful.”
The SNP leader was joined by Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale who added: “This shameful and abhorrent policy must go. When people claim that Ruth Davidson is a different kind of Tory, we now know that is not the case.
“She is just as bad as all the other right wing Tories who want to force rape victims to fill out a form so they can get support from the government.”
Members of all Holyrood’s parties, with the exception of the Scottish Conservatives, joined women’s rights campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament in a show of solidarity.