Minimum marriage age to be raised from 16 to 18 in England and Wales under new law

The legal age of marriage and civil partnerships in England and Wales is to be raised from 16 to 18, in what is hoped will stop child brides being forced into marriage. Currently, 16 and 17-year-olds can marry with parental consent, but campaigners had warned this legal loophole had been exploited and used to coerce some young people into child marriage.

Proposed by Pauline Latham, the Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire, the new law could see adults who facilitate the marriage of children face up to to seven years in jail and receive a fine.

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