TimELINE OF OUR CAMPAIGN
DR met Chloe Smith, Minister for the Constitution and Devolution and was told the matter was too complex because of courtesy titles, fairness, reform on the Lords, property and consensus.
Baroness Berridge asked the government what they planned to do to end male primogeniture on International Women’s Day in the Lords.
Philip Davies sponsored a Ten Minute Rule Bill on ending male primogeniture, which Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North and Minister for the Constitution and Devolution objected at the second reading. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2017-2019/0349/19349.pdf
Helen Grant asked in a Topical Question to Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women and Equalities at the time, what the Government proposed to do about ending male primogeniture for hereditary titles. Penny replied she would ask the Cabinet Office to look into it.
Philip Davies asked Kevin Foster as interim Minister for the Constitution for what reason the Government objected to the Hereditary Titles (Female Succession) Bill on 22 March 2019 and was told because hereditary peers are exempt from the 2010 Equalities Act and ‘this is a matter for the House of Lords in regulating its own affairs.’
Baroness Deech asked the Government on 6 June 2019 what it proposes to do about allowing women to stand in the by-elections for hereditary peers. When Lord Young of Cookham replied for the Government, he made the point that allowing women to take part would have no meaningful effect on the gender balance of the Lords. Yet this argument was not deployed against the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act which enables female bishops to take their seats.
Met with Greg Hands and Kevin Foster, Minister for the Constitution, where Kevin Foster said the government had in fact no objection to ending the practise of male primogeniture but there were concerns over property rights. He would make his officials available to discuss these concerns.
I met with Cabinet Office officials with two of the Daughters’ Rights lawyers to discuss their concerns of consensus from within the Lords and land rights. I offered to do due diligence on these but when I asked Penny Mordaunt for advice, she said not to undertake them, they were going to be very expensive & the Cabinet Office should really do this work. She asked Chloe Smith to ensure the Cabinet Office did so.
Philip Davies asked Kevin Foster if he will make it his policy to end male primogeniture for hereditary titles. The reply was ‘careful consideration is needed of the issues that reform in this area would raise including the legitimate expectation of males next in line to inherit a title, and the effects of reform on land and property rights.’
Penny Mordaunt asked Boris Johnson during PMQ’s what the government proposed to do about ending male primogeniture, Boris said it would be looked into.
The Earl of Shrewsbury called for end to male primogeniture in his International Women’s Day speech in the House of Lords.
I offered to meet Chloe Smith with Sir Crispin Agnew from the Standing Council of Baronetage, Viscount Torrington from the Hereditary Peers Association and the Earl of Shrewsbury from the 92 hereditary peers. All three support moving the matter forward. I was told in a letter by Chloe Smith and co-signed by Lord True that it was too complex, not enough legislative time and no consensus.
Earl of Devon’s International Women’s Day speech on supporting the campaign.