Clause 1 - Marriage: increase of minimum age to 18

Part of Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 12th January 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire 10:00 am, 12th January 2022

Thank you for allowing me a few more words, Sir George.

I place on the record my thanks to everyone who has helped me get the Bill to this stage, including the charities that we have been working with, which the hon. Member for Rotherham mentioned: Karma Nirvana, which has been amazingly supportive; IKWRO; Girls Not Brides; and others. In particular, the story of inspirational Payzee Mahmod made me determined not to give up trying to get the Bill through, and to keep being a pain in the neck for Ministers and civil servants until I got to this stage. I thank those people in particular because they have worked so hard with me.

I also thank Committee members, who have given their time to support the Bill. Private Members’ Bills do not always have support from across the House, but this one does. I commend my colleagues on the International Development Committee, who have been so supportive, particularly our Chair. I really commend my office staff, who have worked tirelessly to support me, and did the research to get us to where we are today. I also thank the Clerks, and the staff who work for the Department and for Parliament. Without their support, we could not have got here.

I thank the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend Rachel Maclean, who has been working tirelessly with the Minister to get us to this stage, and to make sure that we dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. I thank the Minister for his support, because without it we could never have got to this point.

I feel very privileged to be here today, having just recovered from covid. It was touch and go on whether I would be able to make the Committee, so I am delighted to be here, fit and well. I hope that the Bill will travel through the House of Lords and come back very quickly, and that we get Royal Assent before Easter. If we do, this really important piece of legislation will have been passed relatively quickly. Thanks, everybody. I thank our Chairman, Sir George Howarth, very much for his chairmanship. I am delighted that we have got to this stage