Bishop Donald takes part in virtual House of Lords debate regarding War Widows’ Pensions

Bishop Donald was part of a virtual House of Lords debate on Thursday (10th December) regarding War Widows’ Pensions.

The question for the debate, asked by the Labour peer Baroness Crawley, was:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in resolving the issues faced by those war widows who were required to surrender their War Widows’ Pension due to marriage or cohabitation.

Bishop Donald’s contribution was as follows:

My Lords, David Cameron, under whose premiership the new rules came in, has admitted that the current situation is a mistake and was not intended. It is manifestly unjust and betrays those who have served our country. The ridiculous rule that people could rectify the situation by divorcing and then remarrying undermines the institution of marriage. Does this not make it entirely justifiable to overturn, or at least suspend, the policy to which the Minister refers?

In response, Baroness Goldie (Conservative) answered:

I thank the right reverend Prelate; he too delivers a powerful message. I totally uphold the institution of marriage. He refers to an anomaly that many of us find completely unacceptable, and I can only reiterate what I have said. I undertake to ensure that his sentiments are conveyed to the department, and they will form part of our endeavour to find a solution.

This was the final contribution to the debate.

You can watch Bishop Donald’s speech (and the response from Baroness Goldie).

A transcript of the full debate, including Bishop Donald’s speech, can be found here.

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