Justice Minister Ken Clarke sparked fury suggesting some rapes were “less serious” and that only attacks by strangers constituted “proper” rape.

Clarke made the comments where he appeared to make a distinction between “date rape” and “serious rape, with violence and an unwilling woman,” as he attempted to defend proposed shorter jail terms for rapists during a radio interview.

During the interview a rape victim who phoned in broke down after telling Clarke his sentence discount plan was a disaster.

Experts across the country were quick to take the Justice Minister to task.

Dr Kate Cook, a founder member of Trafford Rape Crisis told the Manchester Evening News: “I have had lots of messages from women who’ve survived rape who are quite upset to hear what he has said. I think it’s very retrogressive to have a Justice Secretary say there are different types of rape and you can tell the difference by the relationship.”
“Rapes can be incredibly damaging whatever the relationship.”

“The person most likely to rape you is somebody close to you. “The effects of being raped by somebody close can be extremely hard to deal with. We have women in great crisis who were raped 20 to 30 years ago.”

Clarke later apologised to the rape victim saying he was  “sorry” if his comments upset her.

Opposition leader Ed Miliband called for Clarke’s resignation during Question Time.