‘Rape clause’ benefit cap to be challenged in court

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Child poverty campaigners have won the right to seek a judicial review of the UK Government’s two-child cap on benefit claims.

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) will take the government to the High Court in London to challenge the rules, which are the basis for the controversial ‘rape clause’. CPAG argues the two-child limit breaches women’s right to family life.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss, who drew attention to plans to ask women to prove their children were conceived through rape in order to avoid the cap, welcomed the bid for a judicial review.

“CPAG estimate that around 250,000 children will be forced into poverty by 2020 as a direct result of the two child policy,” Ms Thewliss said. “The majority of the families who are entitled to support are actually in work, the very ‘just about managing’ people who Theresa May claims she wants to help.”

Labour MP Danielle Rowley said: “Rather than wasting more time defending the disgusting and discredited rape clause, the Tories should listen to reason and just scrap it.”

A government spokeswoman said: “This reform ensures people on benefits make the same choices as those supporting themselves solely through work. But we have always been clear this will be delivered in the most effective, compassionate way.”