Edinburgh's Tory councillors silent over rape clause outrage

SNP Edinburgh call on Tories to oppose party’s Rape Clause ahead of council election

ALL ELEVEN TORY COUNCILLORS in the city of Edinburgh have ignored calls to distance themselves from their government’s rape clause the week before the city goes to the polls to elect a new council

Despite media inquiries from CommonSpace today, not a single Tory councillor has replied with a view on the subject – despite calls from the SNP group at Edinburgh council to reject the attack on women’s rights. 

The rape clause, which requires women who were victims of rape and coercion to fill out an eight-page form to access child support if they exceed the Tory two child cap, led to an outcry from health professionals and women’s campaign groups. This week (Tuesday 25 April) it was roundly condemned in the Scottish Parliament by all parties except the Conservatives. 

SNP Councillor for Leith Adam McVey called “on all Conservative councillors and candidates in Edinburgh to stand up for the dignity and human rights of women in Scotland and condemn these utterly appalling Tory Government policies” with now under a week remaining until polling day. 

“Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories should be thoroughly ashamed of their party but instead they are defending the indefensible welfare cuts coming from Westminster.” Adam McVey

Sexual violence support charities including Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS) and Scottish Women’s Aid (SWA) will not act as third party verifiers for the Tory scheme due to its impact on women and children.

The wider two child cap on tax credits is expected to cause a further rise in poverty, with single parent families with more than two children worst impacted. 

McVey added: “The Tory policy that has become known as the rape clause, requiring women to disclose deeply personal information and prove that a third or subsequent child was conceived as a result of rape in order to claim tax credits, is both disgraceful and disgusting. 

“Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories should be thoroughly ashamed of their party but instead they are defending the indefensible welfare cuts coming from Westminster. The two-child policy will mean a loss of up to £2,800 every year per child for hardworking families – driving up child poverty after the UK government scrapped their child poverty targets.”

CommonSpace contacted all Edinburgh Tory councillors for comment. None replied by the time of publication. 

A Conservative spokesperson previously described the eight-page rape clause form as the “most sensitive way possible” to deal with the impact of the party’s own child cap policy. 

Picture: CommonSpace

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