Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill

It will be a Bill to provide that opposite sex couples may enter a civil partnership; to make provision about the registration of the names of the mother of each party to a marriage or civil partnership; to make provision about the registration of stillborn deaths; to give coroners the power to investigate stillborn deaths; and for connected purposes.

Essentially I am being rather greedy and I am trying to squeeze several deserving causes I have campaigned on into one Bill on the basis that it has taken 20 years to be given the chance at all of actually changing legislation in this way, and I probably won’t get the chance again. I have come up the number 5 bill in a ballot of 20 which usually has a fair chance of becoming law if a member can secure Government support.

I have tried several timed to extend civil partnerships to opposite sex couples having strongly supported the long overdue change in 2004 to recognise same sex partnerships in the eyes of the law. There are 2.9 million co-habiting couples in the UK, around half with children, who for a variety of reasons choose not to get married and often only find out to late that there is no such thing as a common law spouse and they have no protection under the law. A recent High Court case urged the Government to resolve this anomaly and my Bill would do that.

I have also campaigned on the injustice of late term stillbirths based on local tragic case where a child who is stillborn and whose mother has gone through all the tribulations of pregnancy and giving birth, is not recognised in the eyes of the state unless born over 24 weeks. With some babies surviving now as early as 22 weeks this can only add to the grief of parents and many charities support this change. We have a poor record on stillbirths generally in the UK and coroners have asked for the power to investigate late term stillbirths to understand the underlying causes so again this measure in my bill would help to address this problem.

Finally I am seeking to ensure that a mother’s details can be included on marriage certificates rather than just the father’s now we are in the 21st century. Again I hope these are all measures which will attract widespread and cross-party support and my 20 year wait will not have been in vain.

You can see the full Bill attached below and can follow the progress here.

You can sign the petition to help support equal civil partnerships here.


Attachment Size
Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill 92.14 KB


Weekly look ahead: 21st January

My weekly look ahead, discussing important issues such as Holocaust Memorial Day, constituency issues, my bill - and, inevitably, Brexit news!


Herald column January 17th 2019

As I write we have yet to vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, so more of that next week and on my website and Facebook page in the meantime.

Herald column November 8th 2018

The chances of successfully steering a Private Member's Bill through all its labyrinthine Parliamentary stages are usually quite slim, and MPs usually keep it simple sticking to one main theme to bring about a change in the law.

Private Members Bill completes its committee stages

I am pleased to say that my Private Members Bill to extend civil partnerships, give greater protections against stillbirths and add the names of mothers on marriage certificates completed its committee stages in the Commons.

Supreme Court finds in favour of equal civil partnerships

I am delighted the Supreme Court have ruled in favour of Charles and Rebecca and in favour of equality. 

Charles and Rebecca have fought hard and long to get to this point and the Government could and should have acted a long time ago. 

Meeting Saying Goodbye Ambassador Kym Marsh to discuss Stillbirths

I was delighted to welcome Andy Clark-Coates, co-founder of Saying Goodbye - along with his wife, Zoe, who was unable to attend today - and Saying Goodbye Ambassador, Kym Marsh to discuss my Private Member's Bill, which will look to change the way stillbirths are registered.

Herald column February 8th 2018

Last week was a busy one for me both in Parliament and the constituency as my Private Member’s Bill finally came up for its second reading last Friday. My Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Death (Registration Etc.) Bill.