Vaz to challenge 'sexist' law
London, Jan 18, 2011:
Labour MP Keith Vaz has announced that he will challenge the law which gives male royal heirs preference over their sisters. Mr Vaz will use a special parliamentary privilege to seek support for a change in legislation.
He said: “With the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, we have a once in a generation opportunity to change the law. Prince William looks like a very modern prince. If he has a daughter first, it is only right that she become queen of England.” The Government has said it has no plans to alter the Act of Settlement
According to local paper, a 300-year-old law that would discriminate against any daughter born to Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton in the succession to the throne faces a parliamentary challenge Tuesday. Male royal heirs have prior claim to the crown over their older sisters under the 1701 Act of Settlement, which also bars the monarch from marrying a Catholic.The couple are due to marry in London's Westminster Abbey on April 29. The incoming coalition government has shown scant enthusiasm for change, not least because to do so requires the agreement of 15 independent British Commonwealth countries which share Queen Elizabeth as their sovereign.Last week justice minister Tom McNally said the government had no plans to amend the Act of Settlement, but said discussions among Commonwealth countries about the issue were continuing under the chairmanship of New Zealand.
The two met nearly a decade ago while students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The relationship garnered some controversy because Middleton does not come from royalty and royals are generally expected to wed other aristocrats.
The incoming coalition government has shown scant enthusiasm for change, not least because to do so requires the agreement of 15 independent British Commonwealth countries which share Queen Elizabeth as their sovereign
VAZ told Postmedia News that he has written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to secure Canada's formal backing for the proposed changes because of this country's membership in the Commonwealth and the role played by Queen Elizabeth and her successors as Canada's titular head of state.
Canada's stand on the proposed reforms is very important to the success of his campaign, Vaz said, adding it cannot get through without Canada's support