Success! My Private Members' Bill - "Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill" has cleared all its Parliamentary stages! Next stop - Royal assent.
The constant obsession with the chaos of Brexit has diverted attention from the very important job that Parliament still has to do, passing important legislation on a day to day basis which impacts on the lives of many regular people. My Bill is just one such measure and I am delighted we are about to go over the finish line. I have not made it easy for myself having crammed 4 different issues across 4 different departments of Government into one Bill, but having never come up previously in the Private Members’ ballot in 22 years as an MP, I calculated that this could be my one and only shot at it and therefore combined some of the key issues I have campaigned on over recent years.
The hundreds of emails and letters I have received particularly from couples who desperately want to commit to each other in a recognised relationship that is not formal marriage, to the heart-breaking stories of parents who have lost babies through stillbirth clearly show there is a strong demand for the measures in this Bill. I am particularly grateful to Baroness Hodgson who has so skilfully guided my Bill through the Lords, the Campaign for Equal Civil Partnership and the Campaign for Safer Births in particular who have provided such strong support. I am glad that the Government have at last come around to swinging their support behind the Bill though I have to pull a lot of ‘fast ones’ on Parliamentary procedure at times to get it this far