Tomorrow a Committee of the Whole House will be considering amendments to the Succession to the Crown Bill. The Speaker hasn’t selected the amendments for debate yet, but looking at those tabled I see that Paul Flynn and Kelvin Hopkins are moving the following new clause, entitled “Civil Partnership”:
“In the event of the heir to the throne contracting a civil partnership any progeny of that partnership by adoption or artificial insemination should quality to inherit the throne”.Which raises some very interesting Qs about how you’d select the sperm donor! I very much doubt that will be selected…
There are also calls for a referendum on the future of the monarchy after the current Queen dies, and quite a few references to “the Popish Religion” which is apparently what it is officially called. The Bill would permit the monarch to marry a Catholic – which is the only faith at the moment they’re not allowed to marry. They can marry a Muslim or a Hindu or, presumably, a Jedi, but not a Catholic.
As one might imagine, Jacob Rees Mogg – who I think is Anglo-Catholic – is taking a keen interest in this Bill. I think his amendments are seeking to get round the bar on the monarch being a Catholic, by saying that if the monarch marries a Catholic then an heir to the throne who inherits the Catholic faith from his/ her parent would be allowed to be Catholic. Which of course throws the whole Defender of the Faith/ head of the Church of England thing on its head.
Anyway, expect some interesting contributions to the debate tomorrow from Labour’s Paul Flynn and Chris Bryant, and of course the Mogg. Chloe Smith is leading for the Government, Wayne David for Labour.