Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East 12:30 pm, 19th March 2020

In difficult times we should remember those who sacrifice most, so may we have a statement or debate on the substance of early-day motion 280 about the scandal of war widows who lost their pensions on remarriage?

[That this House honours and recognises the sacrifices that our veterans and their families make; notes the particular sacrifices that the partners of veterans make and the consequences for them of tragically losing a spouse or partner serving in the armed forces; notes the changes announced in 2014 which allowed war widows or widowers that lost their spouse or cohabiting partner in service in the armed forces before 6 April 2005, and had not remarried by 1 April 2015, to retain their war widow pension for life regardless of ongoing relationship status; notes however that this regrettably excluded war widows bereaved before 6 April 2005 that had already had to surrender their war widows pension upon remarrying or cohabiting; believes that this is unacceptable; notes that the only way this group of war widows could regain their pensions is by divorcing their current partners and remarrying them; agrees with the then Defence Secretary who said on 18 February 2019 that this was a burning injustice, Official Report, column 1187; and therefore supports the campaign of the War Widows Association to rectify this anomaly; and urges the Government to correct this injustice by providing equalisation and compensation for the small number of war widows unjustly affected.]

May we also have a debate on early-day motion 307—which, more positively, is about the enhanced co-operation between Blind Veterans UK and the Blinded Veterans Association of America, which are setting up a new combined eye trauma taskforce—and look for the Government’s support in that matter?