16th Sep, 2019

Victory in MPs campaign to put mums on Marriage Certificates

Felix Nobes 8th Jan, 2018

MOTHER’S names are set to be included on marriage certificates thanks to a campaign led by Meriden MP Caroline Spelman.

The Home Office is expected to approve plans after a successful crusade led by Dame Caroline Spelman MP who said the reform will ‘right a historic wrong’.

Currently, the official documents only record the names and occupations of the fathers of the bride and groom – legislation which has remained unchanged since it was first introduced in 1837.

Now details of the couple’s mothers look set to be included too as part of the modernisation of the marriage register which will see the creation of a digital records system.

In a significant piece of legislation, the bill will also include a provision for same-sex married couples.

Previous proposals failed to go through over concerns that they would have to replace tens of thousands of register books across the country, costing the tax payer £13million.

However, it is forecast that a new digital record, known as the ‘Schedule System’ will make the process of marriage less vulnerable to fraud and will save the tax payer £30million in costs over a ten year period.

Dame Spelman has advocated the modernisation of the system of marriage registration for some time, leading a Westminster Hall debate on the matter in 2015.

Dame Spelman is the Second Church Estates Commissioner; a role that involves her maintaining a link between government and the church while maximising statutory accountability within the institution.

A Home Office source said the proposal had been ‘signed off’, and a spokeswoman confirmed that it wanted to include mothers’ details.

Dame Spelman described the way in which marriages are recorded as “not acceptable in modern times”.

Dame Caroline said: “Having fought a long-standing campaign in Parliament to bring about this change, I am delighted that the Home Office has indicated that it will support my Marriage Registration (No.2) Bill to change the way marriages are recorded in England and Wales and to include the names and occupations of mothers on marriage certificates for the first time.

“The introduction of a new, digital system of marriage entry will not only save money by moving us from a system of over 84,000 individual marriage registers into a single, more secure system, but will right a historic wrong – something which has been called for by over 70,000 petitioners in recent years.”

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