Gavin Newlands, SNP candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has challenged the Conservative candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire North to outline whether he shares the views of his party leader Ruth Davidson, and supports limiting child tax credits to the first two children, forcing women to have to prove that their third or subsequent child was born as a result of rape in order to continue to receive vital support for their children.
Mr Newlands previously contacted the Tory MSPs representing West of Scotland as well as the Conservative candidates standing at the Council elections in Renfrewshire asking for their views on the policy.
However, to date he has yet to receive a reply from any of the Conservative politicians.
The UK Government recently railroaded through changes that restrict the entitlement to child tax credits and Universal Credit for the first two children, with exemptions for children born as a result of “non-consensual conception”.
Women are controversially required to prove that their third or subsequent child was born as a result of rape in order to claim support for them.
The SNP has been campaigning against the ‘Rape Clause’ since it was announced in 2015 and have received support from all the political parties apart from the Conservatives. After being challenged, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, has stated her support for the Rape Clause. Conservatives have recently come under criticism for misrepresenting the policy in the media, with some Tory MSPs stating that women would only have to ‘tick a box’ to continue receiving support.
Gavin Newlands, SNP candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said: “The Rape Clause and two-child limit for child tax credits is one of the most poisonous policies ever to come out of Westminster. Forcing women to have to prove that their third or subsequent child was conceived of rape in order to receive vital support for their children would shame most people and SNP have fought against this policy since it was announced.
“However, Conservative politicians are ignoring the damage that this abhorrent policy will cause survivors of sexual violence and their children. If there was any doubt, it’s clear that the Conservatives are as nasty and as vindictive as ever.
“Now more than ever, we need strong SNP voices to stop the Tories from inflicting more harmful policies on families across the country.
“It’s important that the Conservative candidate looking to represent Paisley and Renfrewshire North in Westminster confirms whether he support the Rape Clause and outlines his reasons for supporting this abhorrent policy.”