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Widows of Police Officers

Volume 620: debated on Monday 23 January 2017

15. Whether she is taking steps to ensure that widows of police officers are not financially disadvantaged by remarrying. (908292)

In January 2016, this Government changed legislation to the benefit of widows, widowers and civil partners of police officers in England and Wales who have died on duty. As a result, those survivors who qualified for a survivor pension will now continue to receive their survivors’ benefits for life, regardless of remarriage.

I welcome the changes made after the police widows campaign, which I supported, but of course they apply only to widows who remarry or cohabit after April 2015, whereas elsewhere in the UK, police widows’ pensions have been reinstated regardless of the date of their remarriage. Does my right hon. Friend agree that police widows should be treated the same, regardless of where police officers served in the United Kingdom? Will he agree to meet me and other colleagues to discuss this further?

I know that my hon. Friend has campaigned hard on this issue, and I would be happy to meet him and others to discuss it. He will be aware that the clear position taken by successive Governments is that changes should not apply retrospectively. As I say, I would be happy to meet my hon. Friend and colleagues to discuss the issue further.