‘Rape clause’ protesters target MSP’s surgeries

A deputation of Granarchists outside surgeries held in Duns and Eyemouth by Conservative MSP John Lamont,  were protesting at the UK Government's changes to child tax credit changes for families of more than two children.
A deputation of Granarchists outside surgeries held in Duns and Eyemouth by Conservative MSP John Lamont, were protesting at the UK Government's changes to child tax credit changes for families of more than two children.

Protesters against the so-called rape clause being planned by ministers greeted Borders MSP John Lamont when he arrived at two surgeries in Duns and Eyemouth last week.

They are angry at UK Government changes to tax credits that limit the payments to two children per family.

The controversial clause allows an exemption only if a third child is conceived through rape – and there is an eight-page form to fill in to provide evidence.

Berwickshire Granarchists member Kate Duncan said: “We spoke face to face with John Lamont, our MSP. We thought he had no right to distance himself from the reality of what this clause entails for women who find themselves pregnant through coercion.

“We discovered that he was without imagination, sympathy or humanity.

“Both groups were disappointed and angry at Mr Lamont’s position. Every woman taking part left feeling they had spoken up for women across the UK against this pernicious bill and vowed to continue the fight.”

Several women at the Eyemouth and Duns surgeries gave moving personal testimonies of financial and emotional hardship.

Mr Lamont said afterwards: “I was more than happy to meet with constituents who had concerns about the operation of the child tax credit limit. We had a very constructive discussion. This is exactly why I hold regular surgeries in my constituency, so that people can meet with me face to face.

“This is a very sensitive issue, and I understand emotions are running high.

“I explained that I supported allowing vulnerable people to claim tax credits for children born as a result of rape, which is what this provision does.”

“I also expressed my disappointment that this issue is being used cynically by some opposition parties.”