It is a pleasure to follow Mohammad Yasin. I commend Mrs Hodgson for her powerful and emotional speech. She said she was not brave or strong. I completely disagree; she is very brave and very strong, and I thank her for her words. People in the House were moved, and I am sure that those watching her speech on TV were also moved. She made very important and powerful points, and I thank her.
I congratulate my hon. Friend Tim Loughton on bringing his private Member’s Bill to this stage. The way that he has brought four pieces of legislation together is ingenious. I have looked for the common theme, and I think that it is how individuals and their loved ones are recognised. I hope that he agrees. It is a pick-and-mix Bill, and I am going to pick a couple of bits to talk about today. I will speak to the first two clauses, on the registration of marriages and civil partnerships and the reform of civil partnership.
As other Members have said, my right hon. Friend Dame Caroline Spelman and my hon. Friend Edward Argar have been very vocal on and great advocates for the registration of marriages. It is so important to have our mothers’ names on our marriage certificates. My hon. Friend Scott Mann said that he was not aware until he began to look at this that our mothers’ names are not on our marriage certificates. I am sure a lot of people are under the illusion that their names are included, and only when they look at the certificate after the event do they realise that the name of a very important person is missing. Our mothers form our early lives and our lives as we grow up and enter adulthood, and they play such an important role. I am sure they have also had an important role in putting together the wedding ceremony, only for them to be denied having their details on the marriage certificate, which I think is so wrong.
We are celebrating 100 years of women having the vote, which makes it even more bizarre that this has not been sorted out. It is a matter of equality, as well as a matter of family history and social history. So much information will be able to be gathered in the future if we include our mothers’ names on marriage certificates. My family is a case in point. My marriage certificate had my father’s profession as a timber merchant, but not what my mother did—she was a classroom assistant in a school for disabled children—after bringing up her children and as we got older. On the paternal side, my grandfather was included in my parents’ marriage certificate as a mill worker, but my grandmother, who was in service, is missing. On the maternal side, my grandfather was included as a railway worker, but, sadly, I do not know what my grandmother did, and I can no longer ask my mother, so that bit of social history is missing. What we are discussing will not only add to social history, which is so important, but demonstrate social mobility and address the equality side of things.