Nicola Sturgeon backs Women's Aid crowdfunding campaign

Nicola Sturgeon says rape clause is anti-women
Nicola Sturgeon says rape clause is anti-women
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Nicola Sturgeon has today urged  supporters to back a crowdfunding campaign for women's aid groups mounting a court fight against the "so-called" rape clause in England and Wales.

The First Minister has chosen to highlight the campaign as Alex Salmond's crowd-funding appeal for his legal fight against the process used to probe sexual harassment claims reaches s £70,000.

Read more: Salmond crowd-funding campaign hits £50,000 target
Mr Salmond, who quit the SNP yesterday, has been criticised for seeking financial aid from supporters to fund his judicial review at the Court of Session. Opponents say it is "astonishing" that a wealthy man should seek cash support in such a case.

And Ms Sturgeon today urged her followers a on social media to back the "anti-women" rape clause which scraps benefits for a third child, unless women can show conception came about as a result of being raped.

Read more: Salmond quits SNP over harassment claims
"If you can, please help Women’s Aid launch a legal challenge to the #rapeclause - the deadline is 9am tomorrow," Ms Sturgeon said on social media site Twitter.

"If the target is not met by then, the money already raised is refunded and this disgraceful, anti-women policy will escape challenge. Let’s get it over the line."

Two women have made allegations of sexual harassment against Salmond relating to his time as First Minister. The claims dating back to December 2013 are strenuously denied by Salmond.

He is taking Scottish ministers to court over the process used to investigate the claims. The judicial review is expected to last up to three months and it has been suggested costs could rise to £150,000.

Mr Salmond said last night: "The costs of a Judicial Review in the highest court in the land are huge. Many have asked how they can help directly. Therefore I have established a crowd funder to assist with costs. All sums received will contribute exclusively to progressing the Judicial Review and any money left over will be used to support good causes in Scotland and beyond.