Scottish Tory leader open to review of how 'rape clause' works

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Ruth Davidson has said she is open to reviewing how the so-called rape clause works.

The Scottish Conservative leader said she would be willing to look again at the clause after facing sustained criticism over her support for the policy.

The change is part of UK Government welfare reforms introduced in April which mean child tax credits are now capped at two children.

A clause in the new rules means mothers who have a third child as a result of rape can be exempted, but would have to provide evidence in order to do so.

SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called the clause an "abomination" while Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said Ms Davidson would have to "defend the rape clause every single day of the General Election campaign".

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live's Emma Barnett being broadcast on Wednesday, Ms Davidson said: "I think that it's right that child tax credits are limited to the first two children.

"I also think that it's right that if you are going to have that limit, that you have exceptions in exceptional cases, including the very worst cases like the one that you are referring to.

"In terms of how that works on the ground, if there are issues with that, then I am completely open - if there are better ways of doing it - to reviewing that."

Ms Davidson said the verification system was based on one that "already works elsewhere and had broad support elsewhere", but added: "If there is an issue - and we don't know yet, because it's only just coming in - if there's an issue with how that's done, then let's review that."