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A right royal battle for Bill.


MP John Hemming is continuing his campaign to end sex discrimination in the monarchy.

One change to the law is already planned, to make sure that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's child has the same chance of becoming monarch whether it is a boy or a girl.

The Succession to the Crown Bill will end the practice of boys leapfrogging older sisters in the order of succession.

But Mr Hemming points out that there is another anomaly - the fact that the Queen cannot name her husband king, even though a king can name his wife queen.

For example, when the Queen's father George VI became king in 1936, his wife became a queen and was known as Queen Elizabeth (and after her husband's death she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother). But the Queen's husband is plain old Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Even though she rules in her own right, just as her father did, she cannot make her husband a king.

Mr Hemming has sponsored a Commons motion highlighting this example of "sex discrimination" and calling "for consideration to be given to resolving these constitutional lacunae during the passage of the Succession to the Crown Bill in consultation with those most experienced in dealing with these issues such as HM the Queen, HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH the Duke of Cambridge."

EDUCATION Secretary Michael Gove used an official car to transport his ministerial briefcase, known as a red box, 78 times in a year.

That's just his red box. The Education Secretary wasn't in the car on those occasions. He may, for example, have travelled by bus or train and had his driver ferry his briefcase to keep it safe. But whatever the precise reason, there were 78 occasions when the official car was used just to carry his briefcase.

The figure was uncovered by Black Country MP Tom Watson (Lab West Bromwich East).

AN MP is to spend a day at Birmingham Airport to learn more about its expansion plans after it launched a consultation over plans to extend its runway.

Caroline Spelman (Con Meriden) urged residents to take part in the consultation. Proposals can be viewed at, by calling a helpline on 0121 767 7433 or by emailing

A BIZARRE and little-known Commons rule has frustrated Solihull MP Lorely Burt (Lib Dem) in her attempts to get answers from the Government.

She was due to ask a question in the House of Commons about a legal case involving a constituent. But it seems that Government departments actually have the power to refuse to answer a question if they deem it to be "irrelevant" to their work.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 16, 2013
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