Yorkshire MP Philip Davies wants to change law so females can inherit hereditary titles

Shipley MP Philip Davies
Shipley MP Philip Davies
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A Yorkshire MP will call tomorrow for the "completely indefensible" law of the land to be changed so that females can inherit titles and hereditary peerages.

Shipley MP Philip Davies will put forward a Ten Minute Rule motion in the Commons urging an overhaul of the way hereditary titles are passed down the generations.

The Conservative, who has prompted anger in the past with his views on gender issues, says there is not enough Parliamentary time for his motion to become law but he hopes that by highlighting the injustice it will spur the Government into action.

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He told The Yorkshire Post: "At the moment the eldest son inherits titles rather than the eldest child. The Royal Family changed just before Prince George was born in case it was a daughter so they would become Queen but it has not changed anywhere else.

"It still applies to hereditary peerages and titles where it is the eldest son rather than the eldest child. It seems to me to be completely indefensible.

"I get accused of standing up for men but I stand up where there is an injustice and where people are treated unfairly for no other reason than their sex it seems to be that is indefensible."

The ten minute rule allows a backbench MP to make his or her case for a new Bill in a speech lasting up to ten minutes. An opposing speech may also be made before the House decides whether or not the Bill should be introduced.

Mr Davies says a draft Bill accompanying his motion has support from "right across the political spectrum" and has been co-sponsored by Labour's Harriet Harman and Tory Sir Christopher Chope.

A previous attempt to change the rules of succession for hereditary titles and peerages, known colloquially as the "Downton Law" and "Downton Abbey Law", did not progress beyond the committee stage in Parliament.