United Kingdom

Legal age you can get married to be raised in England and Wales

At present, sixteen-year-olds can marry if they have their parents’ consent (Picture: Getty)

The minimum legal age to get married in England Wales is to be raised to 18, it has been reported.

At present, sixteen-year-olds can marry if they have their parents’ consent.

Campaigners have argued that this facilitates sexual abuse with young women forced to wed against their will.

According to The Times, former chancellor Sajid Javid is introducing a private member’s bill next week that will make it illegal for anyone to marry below the age of 18.

Justice ministers have indicated they will back the bill in House of Commons and it is expected get cross-party support.

Mr Javid said he viewed 16-year-olds being forced to marry as ‘child abuse’.

He told The Times: ‘The British government is working tirelessly to end child marriage in the developing world and yet our own laws are permitting child marriage by the back door.

‘Indeed, when Bangladesh lowered the legal age of marriage from 18 to 16, ministers there were said to have directly pointed to our laws to justify their move.’

This is a breaking news story. More to follow


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