SNP accuses Anas Sarwar of brazen “fraud” in dispute over rape clause

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said the Scottish Labor leader opted to adopt the stance after Sir Keir Starmer said he had no plans to scrap the cap.

Mr Sarwar’s deputy, Dame Jackie Baillie, admitted today that the cap has “damaged families” and “exacerbated poverty” and is comparable to communist China’s previous one-child policy.

However, she too has defended the retention for the time being, arguing that Labor must be cautious about the “financial mess” they would inherit from the Tories if they won the general election.

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Britain’s 2019 Labor Manifesto pledged to scrap the measure, also known as the ‘rape clause’, which prohibits parents from claiming a general child tax credit for more than two children unless they can show that another child was conceived through rape became.

On Sunday, Sir Keir said he remains against the ceiling but refuses to commit a future Labor government to abolishing it, saying the UK’s finances are too precarious.

Removing the cap in Scotland would cost around £250million a year and affect 80,000 children.

On Monday, Mr Sarwar said the Scottish Labor Party remained opposed to the cap while siding with Sir Keir in a dispute that has stirred up unrest in Labor Party ranks.

“Scottish Labor policy has not changed,” stressed Mr Sarwar.

“We are still against the two-child limit. We continue to believe it exacerbates poverty and we continue to believe it needs to change.”

He also told STV News that Labor policy must “comply with budgetary rules” ahead of the next election and the party will not make “unfunded spending commitments”.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Mr Flynn said: “Anas Sarwar appears to be rubbing some Brasso on his neck this morning for trying to make the people of Scotland believe he is against politics when he said so on TV yesterday.” he supports Keir Starmer’s position.”

He added: “The reality is that London Labor has dictated to the Scottish Labor leader that he must support their ridiculous and abhorrent position on this policy and Anas Sarwar has followed suit.”

Asked if he didn’t trust Mr Sarwar’s determination to oppose politics, the Aberdeen South MP said there was a “huge difference” between opposing something and getting rid of it during the term.

Later on the channel, Dame Jackie said her party’s position was “very clear”.

She said: “We have not changed that position and remain totally opposed to the two-child cap on child support because we know it harms families and exacerbates poverty.”

“I understand what Keir Starmer said about them being worried about the financial mess we’re going to inherit from the Tories.”

She added that she would do “everything in my power” to encourage Britain’s Labor Party to abolish politics if elected, but also said she expected Labor’s proposed Universal Credit reform to address the rape clause become.

Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell said there was “no money left” for Labor to roll back any Tory policies it wants after the election.

She told Sky News: “We have opposed this policy, it is not good policy. We have opposed this in Parliament for many years, but now we are in a very different economic situation.”

The recalled Minister for Shadow Work and Pensions, Jonathan Ashworth, recently described the policy as “abhorrent”. Ms Powell said: “Both of these can be true at the same time, that things can be bad policy, it can be bad policy, but the economic reality is what we’re facing now, the challenge.”

“There’s a lot of bad policies out there… we don’t enforce them, the point is not to undo them…”

Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner previously called the hat “obscene and inhumane”.

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Ms Powell added on LBC: “Both things can be true at the same time, which is that things can be bad politics and things can be a terrible situation but we can’t immediately afford to do anything about it.”

“And that goes for a whole range of issues, I’m afraid. After 13 years there are many things that we need to put right and we have action plans to do some of them.”

But Labor MP Stella Creasy said the cap would fuel child poverty.

She told BBC Radio 4: “We can all see in our communities that this is increasing child poverty, the evidence shows us that.”

“The argument many of us make is that the evidence in itself is that this policy is costing us more than it saves. Wouldn’t it be better to deal with politics and also get the savings that we can invest in economy.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labor leader who now sits as an independent MP, said many of the party’s MPs were “seething with anger”.

He told LBC: “Even the Blair government, which Keir Starmer often quotes, has done a lot to lift children out of poverty by not having a two-child policy.”

Left-wing Labor MP Jon Trickett quoted a recent House of Commons Library inquiry as suggesting that lifting the cap would cost around £1.4bn this year and £1.7bn next year.

He said: “The country could and should immediately lift hundreds of thousands of families out of poverty by removing the two-child benefit cap.”

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