Even as the Prime Minister was, according to the headlines, proving his commmitment to ‘ending anomaly of royal ban on Catholics’, his Government was conspiring to ‘talk out’ Dr Evan Harris’s private member’s bill reforming the right of succession and the laws preventing the monarch marrying a Catholic. Evan was not amused:
Despite the spin from the Prime Minister about amending religious and sexual discrimination in our constitution being a higher priority, the Government has dealt a serious blow to the prospects of reform by talking out my Bill. Jack Straw was asked three times to provide either a timetable, a commitment to a government Bill before the next election or any other tangible step towards this necessary and popular reform, but said he couldn’t provide any.
“The Liberal Democrats, with cross-party backbench allies, will seek every opportunity to keep this on the agenda.”