Boris Johnson faces Lords rebellion over plans to legalise no fault ‘quickie’ divorce –…

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Boris Johnson faces a Lords rebellion from Conservative peers furious over his plans to legalise no fault ‘quickie’ divorces.

Tory peers are planning to support a series of hostile amendments against Government plans which would allow no fault divorces to take place after as little as 20 weeks rather two years.

In a letter to Saturday’s Telegraph the peers led by former Tory Treasurer Lord Farmer, pictured below, said the legislation showed the Government is “pandering to the liberal consensus” by ignoring voters who “do not want marriage undermined by divorce becoming incontestable”.

Under the present law, a husband or wife has to cite adultery, unreasonable behaviour, separation or desertion to demonstrate evidence of an ‘irretrievable’ breakdown.

However peers, led by former Tory treasurer Lord Farmer, are planning to amend the legislation when it is debated in the House of Lords on Tuesday to try to strengthen the institution of marriage.

Lord Farmer wants to balance the Bill to ensure the 20 week period after which a no-fault divorce will be granted only starts when the partner has been served with the order, not when the applicant applies to the court.

The Government would also be required to publish an annual report in to the impact of the changes such as the number of divorce applications and the number of children involved.

In the letter Lord Farmer – who has donated more than £6million to Mr Johnson’s party since 2010 – along with fellow Tories Baroness Eaton and Conservative MP Fiona Bruce, accused the Government of not prioritising families by pursuing the legislation.

They said: “This Government was elected on a mandate to strengthen families: the Conservative manifesto stated that ‘a strong society needs strong families’.

“It committed itself to champion family hubs, to improve the Troubled Families programme and to review the children’s care system. It made no mention of no-fault divorce.

“Over 70 per cent of the general public say fault should be retained, and 80 per cent of respondents to the Government’s consultation reject its removal from divorce.

“Yet the legal elite – whose interests are heavily invested in this misguided attempt to sanitise divorce – are deemed to know better.”

They add that the change “will mean more, not fewer, children reeling from its aftermath. If the Government persists with this Bill, we shall seek to amend it to mitigate the considerable harm it would do.

“However, far better if the Government avoided losing its way so early in a new term and ditched this socially disruptive and wholly unnecessary Bill.”

The Ministry of Justice was approached for comment.

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