Thursday, June 6, 2013

MPs support succession bill

I came across an interesting article "Support claim for succession Bill" in the February 9, 1982 issue of The Times, while I was looking for something else.

Labour MP Michael English, representing Nottingham West
"predicted" that a "majority of MPs would support his attempt to end discrimination against women in the law of succession to the throne."

Mr. English's proposed legislation, Succession to the Crown Bill, was published on February 8.   The bill would allow for gender equality, the succession of the first born child, regardless of sex.  (At the time, the only country with gender equality was Sweden.)

The law was backed by Labour, Conservatives, Liberals and Social Democrat MPs.   If the law was passed by Parliament,  the first child, "irrespective of its sex," would succeed to the throne.

Mr. English noted that if the Princess of Wales gave birth to a son, the issue "would be deferred for a generation," but if the child was a girl, the matter would become "more urgent."

He has written to Prime Minister Thatcher and the prime ministers of the 16 other Commonwealth countries, where the Queen is the sovereign, "asking whether they disagree with his proposal," or wish to legislate or "consent to his Bill extending to their countries."

But without Government support, the Bill's chances "coming before the Commons for debate in this session are not bright."

It would take another 31 years for a gender equality succession bill to be promulgated and signed into law. 

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