ANGELA Rayner has claimed Labour will look into scrapping the benefit requirement which forces women to declare their child was conceived as a result of rape.

The deputy Labour leader described the rape clause, which exists under the UK Government’s two-child cap on universal and child tax credits, as “abhorrent”.

Speaking to journalists in Glasgow, Rayner insisted Labour will have an “absolute focus” on tackling violence against women and girls if elected at the next General Election but refused to be nailed down on removing Tory-era policies. 

It comes as the party faces criticism for refusing to scrap the two-child benefit cap, which prevents families claiming benefits for third or subsequent children born after April 6 2017.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the decision was due to the party not wanting to commit to “uncosted” policies, despite a backlash from Scottish Labour MSPs.

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But speaking during a visit to the Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries training college in Glasgow, Rayner said: “We’ve got to have policies in this country that are humane and understand the challenges that ordinary people face – nobody asked to be put in that situation and the next Labour government will have an incredible focus on women’s rights and violence against women and girls.

“There is a focus on us making sure that we treat women with respect and give them laws that protect them because, at the moment, many women are feeling very let down and penalised because the justice system doesn’t give them the support and the laws aren’t protecting them.

“So the next Labour government will have an absolute focus on tackling violence against women and girls and supporting women who are facing those challenges and (the rape clause) is one of those challenges. It is absolutely abhorrent.”

Pushed further on whether she would press her boss Keir Starmer on putting the commitment in the party’s manifesto, she said: “We will be looking at that and we will be putting our policies forward at the next general election”, adding: “As part of our overall package we will put that at the general election.”

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Official figures showed that 900 women in the UK were forced to disclose that they had been raped in order to receive the social security benefits.

Her comments come after Starmer told journalists in Rutherglen on Tuesday that his party would assess how policies currently in place can “operate more fairly” under a Labour government.

Rayner also said her party would put forward a “child poverty strategy” which would assess the best way to reduce the issue.

She said tackling child poverty was “personal” as “I’m a kid who grew up on a working class, council estate, who was in poverty".