ALOK Sharma MP has come under fire for defending a policy that asks the victims of rape to wave privacy in order to secure benefits.

The Employment Minister defended the rape clause on the BBC Daily Politics show by saying his Conservative colleagues had dealt with the matter 'sensitively'.

Universal Credit claimants with one or two children are required to disclose whether or not they have been raped as part of the form.

Kezia Dugdale, the former leader Scottish Labour, slammed the Reading West MP, describing the form as 'an abomination'.

She said: “You don’t understand the shame and the stigma associated with rape.

“The whole process of asking a woman to declare that she has been raped on a form to receive the tax credits that she was previously entitled to isn’t sensitive, it’s an abomination.

“I don’t think you have seen this form because on page 5, you have to write the name of the child, the child that was conceived because their mother was raped. And then the mother has to sign it.”

The Conservative MP and former Housing Minister said women needed to disclose that their pregnancy was the result of a rape to either their GP or a trusted third party.

Mr Sharma added: “What is absolutely clear is that we need to approach this issue with great sensitively.

“The individuals that we are talking about have been through a great deal of pain and suffering and we need to make sure we do that sensitively.

“And what Esther McVey, the Secretary of State, was saying yesterday was that we need to provide support, I don’t think anyone should disagree with that and additionally that we need to do this sensitively.”

This caused outrage from the Labour politician, who struggled to understand why their was a cap on benefits, arguing that the policy punishes women.

She added: “Why is it that women who have been raped have to pay the price of austerity rather than ask those among the richest people in society to pay more taxes?

“You are passing on the cost by denying them any of the benefits, and making them fill out this form in the process."