16 January 2023
MP Gets Second Crack at Parliamentary Glass Ceiling

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin is getting a second chance to deliver important constitutional reform to the Houses of Parliament when she brings forward a Private Members’ Bill next week.

“This is the last bastion of constitutional sexism and when I last spoke to the House of Commons on this important reform, I vowed that I would not rest.”

Harriett Baldwin MP

Her Bill, which will allow daughters to inherit hereditary peerages in the House of Lords, will overturn the last bastion of constitutional sexism at the ‘mother of all parliaments’.

The principle of male-only primogeniture means that one-eighth of the seats in the House of Lords are reserved exclusively for men.

Harriett first introduced a Bill to reverse the centuries-old tradition last year, and has been given a second chance to introduce the legislation after being given time during Private Members Bill business next Friday (January 20).

The Bill has secured cross-party support and Harriett met with Ministers after the first publication of the legislation to encourage the Government to support the change.

Harriett’s Bill is also supported by Daughters’ Rights campaigner Charlotte Carew-Pole who has campaigned against the principle of male primogeniture for more than a decade.

The concept was abandoned by the Crown in 2013 when Parliament passed legislation allowing Prince George’s first child, whether a son or daughter, to become first in line to the throne.  

Harriett commented:

“This is the last bastion of constitutional sexism and when I last spoke to the House of Commons on this important reform, I vowed that I would not rest.

“This simple reform of the House of Lords has cross-party support and a tranche of MPs have joined me calling for this legislation to receive Government support.

“I have had detailed meetings with Ministers alongside this and although there is wider reluctance to reform the House of Lords itself, I do feel that this initiative has the tacit support of the Government.

“When I bring this legislation back to the House of Commons, I will press for formal Government support and I hope to secure commitments from Minister that now is the time to smash this constitutional glass ceiling and finally bring equality to the UK Parliament.”

Charlotte Carew Pole from the campaign group Daughters’ Rights added:

“The Government has done great work on women’s rights and we hope it will support Harriett’s Bill as an opportunity to end the last legalised sex discrimination.

“This is the latest step on a campaign to shift the law in this country, but I am hoping that it will also be considered soon by the European Court of Human Rights which can, and should, consider this matter.

“Preference on the basis of sex has no place in our society and it would send a strong message that nowhere is it ok to treat boys in preference of girls.”