Keir Starmer backs 'review' of rape clause if Labour wins the general election

Keir Starmer backs 'review' of rape clause if Labour wins the general election

Keir Starmer used the Scottish Labour general election launch to promise a review of the Tory rape clause if he becomes Prime Minister.

The Labour leader also softened his position on the two child benefit cap by saying scrapping the policy was only unaffordable “at the moment”.

Tory benefit changes limit some means tested social security payments to the first two children.

Limited exemptions are granted for further kids, such as if the mother produces evidence of rape.

Asked by the Record if he would scrap the rape clause, he replied: “We will obviously have to review that.

“If we do have the privilege of winning there are a number of things that we will obviously want to come back to.”

Keir Starmer launches the Scottish Labour general election campaign in Glasgow
Keir Starmer launches the Scottish Labour general election campaign in Glasgow -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

He made his comments at a venue in the Gorbals in Glasgow.

The rape clause is tied to the two child benefit cap and critics say both have to go at the same time.

Starmer has previously suggested keeping the two child limit on the grounds of cost.

But speaking on the second day of the election campaign, he seemed more open to abolition.

Asked by BBC Radio 4 if he would consider scrapping the cap, the Labour leader said: “In an ideal world, of course. But we haven’t got the resources to do it at the moment.

“What I will do, because child poverty is something I am absolutely set against, the last Labour government had an anti-child poverty strategy and we managed to do a huge amount of good stuff on child poverty.

“We will do the same thing and have a child poverty strategy, but there are other elements to it.”

It was previously estimated that scrapping the two-child cap would cost at least £1.3 billion.

A major academic study into the effects of the two-child cap previously found it was a “poverty-producing” initiative over the past six years.

Scottish Labour is opposed to the two child limit and leader Anas Sarwar has said he will push a Starmer Government to axe the curb.

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