Labour’s former Deputy Leader has attacked politicians who defend marriage and criticise divorce.
In an article titled ‘If I ruled the world’, in Prospect magazine, Harriet Harman wrote that she would ban politicians from “going on about how important marriage is and how damaging divorce is”.
Her comments were described as “unbelievable” by former Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
War on marriage
The Daily Mail published an editorial accusing her of ‘continuing her long war against marriage and traditional families’.
The Mail noted that “far from ministers ‘going on’ about marriage, as she claims, it barely features in our national debate”.
The newspaper criticised the existing tax and benefits system for ‘penalising married couples and rewarding family breakdown’.
Mr Duncan Smith said: “Whenever Harriet Harman makes comments like this it shows she does not base anything she says on facts.”
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), set up by Mr Duncan Smith in 2004, has produced research which underlines the importance of marriage and family stability when it comes to children.
Last month, the CSJ spoke out saying fathers should be seen as a “crucial pillar” for children and not a “dispensable extra”.
The think-tank criticised the UK’s “throwaway culture” in relationships, which means that people quickly give up if problems occur.
Andy Cook – the CSJ’s Chief Executive – also said the “meteoric rise in family breakdown” in recent decades has particularly affected vulnerable children in Britain.