Labour vows to scrap '˜abhorrent' rape clause

Jeremy Corbyn is to commit a future Labour government to abolishing the rape clause across the UK.

Jeremy Corbyn will launch Labour's manifesto today. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images
Jeremy Corbyn will launch Labour's manifesto today. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The Herald has reported that, as he launches his party’s manifesto in Manchester, the Labour leader will pledge to scrap the “abhorrent” policy as part of a roll-back of Conservative austerity cuts.

The rape clause refers to an exemption from the new two-child cap on child tax credit.

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Women who have had a later child as a result of rape, or during a coercive relationship, are allowed to claim extra benefit if they recount their ordeal to a third party professional.

They must also name their child as part of completing an eight-page form about the rape.

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Politicians of all Holyrood parties except the Conservatives have condemned the policy and are calling for it to be scrapped.

During a Holyrood debate on the clause last month, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale read out a letter from a woman who had a child following rape and said she might have killed herself if she had been obliged to describe what she had experienced to strangers to qualify for benefits.

Mr Corbyn said: “Labour will end the abhorrent rape clause across the UK.

“Kezia Dugdale’s powerful speech in the Scottish Parliament demonstrated the heart-breaking reality of the rape clause.”