31 Aug 2018
Mark Harper speaks with BBC Radio4 as the Supreme Court rules against government in cohabitation case
Mark Harper yesterday spoke with Sarah Montague on BBC Radio4’s The World at One to discuss the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that to deny a widow bereavement benefits because she and her partner of 23 years were unmarried was discriminatory and a breach of human rights.
Siobhan McLaughlin had four children with John Adams, but despite living with him for two decades was denied a £2,000 lump-sum bereavement payment after his death in 2014.
The Supreme Court justices ruled that this was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights — article 14, which protects against discrimination, and article 8, which protects a person’s family life.
“This is a critical step towards ending the discriminatory treatment of cohabiting couples.” said Mark. “It’s a good example of how the Human Rights Act can be used to strike down legislation which is unfair.”
Listen to Mark Harper on BBC Radio4 here