Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland has demanded local Conservative MSPs explain their support for the ‘rape clause’ and cap on child tax credits, a Tory policy which has been described as cruel and indefensible by women’s, anti-poverty and human rights organisations and which will force 200,000 more children in to poverty.
Holyrood’s Green MSPs last week joined with a majority of the Scottish Parliament in voting to condemn the UK government’s two-child limit on child tax and universal credit and against the imposition of the ‘rape clause’, which would see women whose third child was conceived by rape have to give up their anonymity and relive their trauma to a stranger through an eight-page form. A Green amendment, condemning the cap as being yet another cut which the UK Government knows will hit women hardest, was also agreed.
In a speech which has since been viewed 200,000 times, Ross Greer posed a number of questions to Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who failed to respond. He asked:
“Why does she want survivors of rape to potentially give up their anonymity and disclose their experience to a complete stranger? Why does she think that they need to relive the trauma? Will she tell me and the public why?”.
He went on to receive no response from Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton when he asked:
“why do you think Rape Crisis Scotland, Women’s Aid, the Royal College of Nursing, the Child Poverty Action Group, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and many others are wrong and the Tory party is right?”.
Greer has now laid down the same challenges to local MSPs:
“I was disgusted that Ruth Davidson took the cowardly option in failing to answer any of my questions in Parliament. Every single Tory MSP voted in support of the rape clause, including Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw and West of Scotland MSPs Jamie Greene, Maurice Corry and Maurice Golden.”
“I would like to ask our local Tory MSPs the same questions as I asked their leader in the debate. Why is it acceptable for survivors of an extremely traumatic experience to relive it in order to claim tax credits? Why do they think that every organisation supporting rape survivors oppose this disgusting clause and do they really think these organisations are wrong and the Tory Party are right?”
“I’m calling on all local Conservatives to accept that the two-child limit and rape clause are an attack on women and families, especially those in poverty, and will cause indescribable pain to rape survivors and their children. I’m asking their MSPs to denounce the policy and tell their party to scrap the clause.”