Increased support for marriage and civil partnerships

Part of Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:51 pm on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham 6:51 pm, 17th June 2020

I intend to speak only briefly, but I would like to reflect a lot of the wisdom that my hon. Friend Sir Robert Neill has brought to bear not only on this Bill, but on other Bills, such as on the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill the other day.

I speak as a supporter of marriage, but also as a supporter of the Bill. I think that, wherever possible, divorce needs to be amicable, and we need to remove blame as a necessity. In earlier stages of the legislation, we heard some hon. Members, including from my recent intake, speak personally of the pain they are going through at the moment with the blame levels in divorce. I disagree with my right hon. Friend Sir Edward Leigh. I think the Bill does help remove some of that pain by removing some of the blame, and we are doing an important thing today in removing that.

I conclude by saying that I support the Bill, and I am glad the Government have brought it forward. As somebody with grandparents who have been married for 66 years and parents who are rapidly approaching their 40th wedding anniversary, I hope they continue, but I also hope, for others who are not in such a lucky situation, that the Bill will help remove some of the burden on them.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed, with amendments.