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Wakefield Lib Dems Executive 2012

We are always keen for new members to help us promote the Liberal Democrats locally in a variety of ways.

If you would like more information about joining Wakefield Liberal Democrats, contact Membership Development Officer, David Currie, on 01924 279295 today to express your interest or contact us via our online form.

Alternatively you can join the party via the national website and they will forward your details to us.

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Mark Goodair,
Wakefield Liberal Democrats,
7 Rayner Street,

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Welcome To Wakefield and District Liberal Democrats


Working Hard For You

Wakefield and District Liberal Democrats work hard for you throughout the Wakefield MDC area, standing up for your rights, protecting your freedoms, and dealing with the problems that affect you.


Wakefield and District Liberal Democrats announce that Dr Peter Williams will be their candidate for the Wakefield West By-election.

Local by-election – Wakefield West: November 23rd 2017

LD.PW2.20171027_104609_resized_1 (002)[5006] (2)Dr Peter Williams has been selected to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Wakefield West local by-election.

Peter, who lives with in the area, is passionate about his local community, and wants to ensure the area has a strong, liberal voice on the Labour-dominated council.

Speaking about his selection Peter said:

“I am delighted to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Wakefield West. If elected I promise to work diligently for the community and to hold the Council to account”.

Born in Keighley, West Yorkshire Peter moved to Wakefield at the age of 9. Apart from University he has lived mostly in the Thornes and Lupset areas so he know this city and this ward well.

Peter’s election statement:

“I have had a successful business career, only finally retiring from the Board of a national financial services business in March 2017. Outside of Chairing the Wakefield District LibDems, I am President Elect of my local Rotary Club and heavily involved in my regimental associations. My aim is to give something back and standing for Council is another opportunity to help my community.

“For too long Wakefield District has been controlled by a small elite on the Council. Whilst some individual councillors of all political persuasions do a good job, many on the labour benches simply follow orders.

“Wakefield Council has been dominated by Labour for far too long. Over the last 40 plus years I have witnessed a steady decline of this great city with opportunities lost and bad decisions made. Why did the Council give a loan to Unity Hall and will the £500,000 of rate payers money ever be recovered?  Also look at one of our local jewels – Thornes Park. It is sad to see how run down it is today and if it wasn’t for the  Friends of Thornes Park it is likely that the Council would have worked with Wakefield College to build houses in the Park. Even today it is uncertain what the College will do with their buildings at Thornes House.

“Looking at the local community we are regularly seeing cuts in local facilities and road traffic management doesn’t seem to sit high on the Council’s list of priorities. The junction of George A Green Road and Horbury Road is probably the most dangerous in the district. Why haven’t traffic lights been installed? And what about the traffic from the new houses on the old Redcat site next to Lupset Park?

“Whilst this is a local election, about local issues, the question of Brexit keeps coming up. To be clear, LibDems are passionate about having a fairer society that cares for its old and its sick and one that aims to help people get on. It is because of this quest for social justice and economic strength that we have always been keen on being part of Europe. Unlike other parties that try to fudge their position on Europe, we remain steadfast in our belief that staying in Europe is the right thing to do. Since voting to leave we have seen a dramatic fall in the value of the £, jobs are already relocating to other EU countries (which means both a loss in employment and taxes) and the increased costs of being outside the EU are now starting to be realised. The referendum to leave was narrowly won by the Leave campaign but their arguments were sometimes based on false truths. The ‘extra’ £350m for the NHS is a case in point. That figure never existed.

“I sincerely hope that the Conservative Government manages to get a good deal but I am not convinced that the deal will be better for the UK or make us stronger. It is for this reason that the Liberal Democrats believe that you – the people – should get the final say on the deal.”


Wakefield and District Liberal Democrats announce that Nicola Sinclair will be their candidate for the Stanley and Outwood East By-Election.

Local by-election Ward 15 – Stanley and Outwood East: October 12th 2017


Nicola Sinclair has been selected to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Stanley and Outwood East local by-election.

Nicola, who lives with her family in Stanley, is passionate about her local community, and wants to ensure the area has a strong, liberal voice on the Labour-dominated council.

Since moving to Stanley in 2011 she has pressed for improvements in road safety and has been actively involved with local residents working hard to improve things for the area on a range of issues.

Nicola says, “I’ve been really inspired by the way local people are able to come together to fight for issues that are important to Stanley and Outwood East. I want to make sure our voice is heard, and to hold the council to account on the decisions it makes locally and in response to national policy.”

Nicola has a background in education. She currently teaches in the University of York, in adult education, does supply teaching in local schools and works with not-for-profit educational projects.


Wakefield and District Liberal Democrats announce candidates for forthcoming general election

Wakefield April 28, 2017 - The Liberal Democrats have announced that the following members are standing as parliamentary candiadates in our district:

Wakefield constituency – Finbarr Cronin

Plain Background - photo

Finbarr, who is already a local Parish Councillor, wants to let the people decide if we want a hard BREXIT or not. He wants to see a properly funded National Health Service, better funding for Wakefield schools and decent opportunities for our young people. He lives in the Wakefield constituency with his wife, who is a nurse, and their growing family. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in politics.

Finbarr works in the university sector supporting the development of the healthcare workforce in Yorkshire hospitals. Prior to this he was a company director and business owner, so clearly understands the needs of businesses.

Finbarr says:

“Every day I see the impact that austerity policies are having on us all which are disproportionately hitting women, families, people with disabilities and many pensioners.

“What is clear from so many I speak to, is how badly Labour has let the city down and how much the Conservatives have let the country down. Both are also following a disastrous Brexit policy that will leave us worse off. The Liberal Democrats are here to fight for you and to give you a say on the final deal”

Hemsworth constituency – Mary Macqueen


Mary comes from a long line of Liberals and has been an active member since her youth. She holds an archaeology degree and post graduate diploma in museum studies. Having worked at many of the UK’s leading museums she eventually moved to Wakefield Museum in 2005 from which she retired earlier this year.

Over the years she has witnessed the deterioration in local services and the poor political leadership at both Council and national level and she hopes that the fresh, positive Liberal values she represents will be well received by the people of Hemsworth.

Mary says:

“The people in Hemsworth and the surrounding area have been badly let down by the Labour Party who have provided no effective opposition to the Conservative Government. They are also in turmoil over what sort of exit from Europe they want.

“Equally both they and the Conservatives have failed to help the millions of refugees that have been forced to leave war torn countries. What is needed is a strong, forward thinking opposition that cares for its own old and sick and also has compassion for others”

Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford constituency – Clarke Roberts

Clarke Roberts2

Born and bred in Yorkshire, Clarke holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in theology. He has been a member of the party since 2010 and most recently has helped to set up the new Liberal Democrat branch in Selby. Clarke works full-time for a digital marketing company in Yorkshire and he and his fiancé, Kayleigh, know all about the difficulties that young people face when looking to buy their own house.

Clarke says:

“I am extremely proud to have been chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford constituency. For too long, the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, has proven to be an ineffective opposition to the Conservative government. Whichever way you voted in the European Union referendum, it is only the Liberal Democrats who seek to represent the views, hopes and aspirations of the 100%, rather than just the 48% or 52% exclusively.

“The Liberal Democrats will ensure that the final decision on the terms of the Brexit negotiations is given to you: the people. This process has been all about giving control back to the people – and I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. Whilst the Labour Party have been sat idle, the Liberal Democrats have been holding the Conservatives to account not just on securing the best possible terms of our exit from the EU, but on the crises that face our hospitals, schools, the environment and the shocking lack of housing available.

“Leaving the Single Market would be disastrous for our economy and with it, would put our NHS on the brink of collapse, would see prices rise and wages suffer – no one voted for this. It is only the Liberal Democrats who are fighting and who will to continue to fight to make our country open, tolerant and united”.


Speaking about their selection, Dr Peter Williams, Chairperson of the Wakefield & District Liberal Democrats, said:

“This election is vital for the future prosperity of the UK. As we leave the European Union it is important that we retain strong trade links with Europe that will safeguard local jobs. We also need to recognise the tremendous benefit that European workers have brought to the UK. You only have to look at the NHS or the University sector to see how important they are.

The Conservative Government is leading us to a hard Brexit and that is bad for every man, woman and child in this area. Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, has provided no effective opposition to the Conservatives and Mr Corbyn cannot even get the support of his own MPs never mind the country.

What is now needed is a strong and effective opposition and that can only be provided by the Liberal Democrats. Locally we have three excellent candidates in Finbarr, Mary and Clarke who each have tremendous knowledge and experience and most importantly passion. Passion for our schools and education system, passion for the NHS, passion for a liberal society that looks after the old and vulnerable and passion for an economy that is strong and that helps all”. 

Hosted, Published & Promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats all at 8 -10 Great George Street, London, SW1 3AE,

Hosted, Published and promoted by Mark Goodair on behalf of Finbarr Cronin (Liberal Democrat), all at 7 Rayner Street, Horbury, WF4 5BD
Hosted, Published and promoted by Mark Goodair on behalf of Clarke Roberts (Liberal Democrat), all at 7 Rayner Street, Horbury, WF4 5BD
Hosted, Published and promoted by Brenda Graham on behalf of Mary Macqueen (Liberal Democrat), both of 10 Saddlers Grove, Badsworth, WF9 1PE


Regional Conference 2016

The Yorkshire & Humber Lib Dem Regional Conference is only a few months away. This year it will be held at the Ossett War Memorial Community Centre on Saturday 5th November from 10:00 to 16:00.
Ticket details can be found here:

2016 local election candidates across Wakefield District

Ward 5 Crofton, Ryhill and Walton – Adam Belcher
Ward 8 Horbury and South Ossett – Mark Goodair
Ward 11 Ossett – Tony Sargeant
Ward 13 Pontefract South – Dan Woodlock
Ward 15 Stanley and Outwood East – Margaret Dodd
Ward 18 Wakefield Rural – Finbarr Cronin
Ward 19 Wakefield South – David Currie
Ward 20 Wakefield West – Peter Williams
Ward 21 Wrenthorpe and Outwood West – Natasha De Vere

We wish all of our candidates well and hope the people of Wakefield District get behind them and vote for liberal values and a liberal voice.

Campaign to keep Netherton Surgery open

Keep our surgery open in Netherton!

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Local Lib Dems are deeply concerned by the proposed closure of Netherton Surgery. Finbarr Cronin is worried for the health and well-being of the elderly and young children who rely on being able to access a doctor in the village.

I/We the undersigned call on NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to:

1. Do more to support Orchard Croft Practice to employ permanent and/or locum staff in order to maintain weekly GP and Practice Nurse clinics in the village.

2. Ensure that any proposed closure will not be considered by Wakefield CCG without a replacement guarantee of more home visits if a Netherton patient is unable to travel to see a clinician in Horbury.

Sign our on-line petition click here

national website

Hosted by Rob Bell Web Design, Published & Promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats all at 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE
Simon Hughes 018Simon Hughes 010

Interested in Becoming More Active In Wakefield Lib Dems?

We are always keen for new members to help us promote the Liberal Democrats locally in a variety of ways. If you would like more information about joining Wakefield Liberal Democrats, contact Membership Development Officer, David Currie, on 01924 279295 today to express your interest or contact us via our online form. Alternatively you can join the party via the national website and they will forward your details to us.

Campaign action day in Pontefract

Local Lib Dem candidate Dan Woodlock and his team held a successful campaign action day in Pontefract on Saturday 19th September in advance of the by-election. Lib Dem campaigners turned the town yellow and black with balloons, street signs and posters. A street stall was well received by local shoppers who were pleased to see the Lib Dems actively engaging with local people and discussing the issues important to them.

The ‘Better rail services for Pontefract’ petition was well supported by residents who were pleased that Dan Woodlock was fighting for better public transport services for local people. Speaking on the day Dan said: “I am delighted that so many Pontefract people agree with my campaign issues and are supporting me as the Lib Dems aim to build a core support again in the town”.


Pontefract North By-election 24th September 2015: candidate Dan Woodlock announced

Dan is standing in this election because he wants to bring about real change to the town of Pontefract. Liberal Democrats believe in grass roots campaigning and in making a difference to people’s lives at community level. He understands what matters to local people because he grew up in Pontefract, went to school in the town and lives in the ward. Dan wants to improve the things which affect our daily lives:

Dan’s commitments:

1. I will campaign for more investment in public transport links to and from Pontefract. This government needs to know that their decision to freeze rail investment in Yorkshire will affect future job creation.

2. I will fight to bring decisions about Pontefract back to Pontefract by working with local people on a neighbourhood plan, giving us a greater say on new housing and infrastructure developments.

3. I will campaign for greater investment in Pontefract Park so that it is a more pleasant place for local people to relax and spend time with their families.

If you can help Dan and his team with the campaign in Pontefract please get in contact:


It is with great sadness that we announce the death of former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy

Charles was one of the greatest politicians of his generation, devoting his life to public service, having been elected as a Highlands MP at the age of 23. He was well known for his wit and charm when speaking, which touched many people beyond the world of politics.

He led the Liberal Democrats to our party’s greatest electoral successes and showed immense courage when standing up against injustice, most notably when his spoke for the country against the invasion of Iraq.
Commenting on his death, Nick Clegg has said: “He always remained modest about his huge achievements. Whenever I asked him for advice, he was unfailingly kind and wise. Most of all, I will never forget the pride and love with which he would talk about his own family, most especially his devotion to his son Donald. My heart goes out to his sister and brother and to Sarah and Donald at this tragic time.”

The Liberal Democrats, and many more outside the party, will never forget him.

Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, paid tribute to Charles Kennedy:

“With that cheeky smile, highland voice and a few simple words Charles Kennedy captured the political hearts of the nation. Charles had a unique combination of political talent and public affection. He had a healthy disdain for policy detail but had highly tuned political instincts.

“He was in his element on the campaign trail – stealing the show in a TV debate on independence, a joust with opponents in a public meeting in Portree or greeting people on streets of Dunfermline. His wise counsel and gentle encouragement is something I especially valued. I will miss him so much.”

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, paid tribute to Charles Kennedy.

“We are all immensely sad to hear of this devastating news. You would struggle to meet a kinder man than Charles. He was a man who had time for everybody; a real people person and that made him stand out from all the rest. He will always be remembered for his warm personality and brilliant quick wit.

“Charles was a giant in our party. He was robust, sincere and passionate. Never will I be more proud of our party than when Charles us led from the front in our opposition to the Iraq war. This wasn’t a decision taken lightly, yet Charles was a man of principle and did what he knew was right. The party owes him a great gratitude for the position he took and the bravery he showed.

“Above all else, our thoughts go out to Charles’ family at this very difficult time.”

Finbarr Cronin Puts Mental Health and Policing Question to West Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner

3rd March 2015
Wakefield prospective parliamentary candidate Finbarr Cronin took the opportunity to discuss with Mark Burns-Williamson – West Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner, the excellent police work being done in Wakefield in partnership with NHS England.

In a question about the government’s ‘Liaison & Diversion’ pilot schemes where mental health nurses are stationed at around 50 police stations in the UK, Liberal Democrat Finbarr Cronin asked Mark about plans in West Yorkshire Police to role out similar services across the force.

Speaking after the event Finbarr said:

“I am pleased to hear that the pilot scheme successfully operating in Wakefield may be extended across West Yorkshire. People detained by the police and thought to have mental health issues are being dealt with by specially trained nurses. So instead of police officers needing to use their own resources, a health care professional can divert them away from police cells and the courts; and instead offer them the care and support they need.”

“I have heard myself form officers what a positive impact this scheme is having to their work, freeing up their time to deal with other policing matters. This is a sensible Lib Dem policy in action, being trialled in our city. It is part of the biggest ever package of reforms in mental health and it is happening because the Liberal Democrats are in government”.

Wakefield Rhubarb Festival – Finbarr Cronin enjoys the festival atmosphere with local speciality food producers!

21st February 2015
Wakefield Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Finbarr Cronin celebrates the best of Yorkshire’s produce at Wakefield’s hugely successful annual event. Having worked as part of the UK food industry for many years, Finbarr knows how important it is for small businesses and cottage industry producers to get an opportunity to showcase their products.

The soil conditions and climate are important factors when trying to grow rhubarb, both of which the Wakefield area seems to be ideally suited. As a keen allotment holder in the past, Finbarr knows how tricky it can be to successfully grow rhubarb and turn it into a tasty treat.

Speaking at the event Finbarr said:

“It is wonderful to see all the great products made from Wakefield’s rhubarb. It is also great to see many other small food producers selling their honey, cakes, meats and savoury pies, most of which are produced in the surrounding towns and villages of Wakefield.”

“I enjoy coming to Wakefield’s rhubarb festival year after year, it is certainly the best outdoor food event I attend. Knowing how important the food industry is to the local economy I will do all I can to back the interests of local food producers if elected to represent Wakefield in Parliament.

“Food production is an important part of the UK manufacturing sector and we need to do all be can to ensure as much of the food we buy is produced in UK factories, meaning full traceability and safeguarding UK jobs.”

Finbarr Cronin and Norman Lamb MP discuss Lib Dem Mental Health Policy

28th January 2015

Finbarr Cronin and Mary Macqueen campaigning today in Bradford East with Lib Dem MP – David Ward

Saturday 31st January – Wakefield Lib Dem volunteers enjoyed a great day at the Bradford East HQ. We were joined by volunteers from Sheffield, Grimsby, Cleethorpes, North Yorkshire and Leeds. We were kept busy folding leaflets and stuffing envelopes, it looks like they are on course to nail it! It was great to get out to speak to lots of Lib Dem supporters on the doorsteps of Idle

Bradford-20150131-00800Bradford David Ward -MP

Hosted by Rob Bell Web Design, Published & Promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats all at 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE

Finbarr Cronin and Norman Lamb MP discuss Lib Dem Mental Health Policy

Wednesday 28th January – Excellent speech on mental health and Q&A session with Norman Lamb MP – Minister for Health Care &Social at the University of Leeds. Wakefield’s Finbarr Cronin was there to meet Norman Lamb to discuss national policy on autism and increased NHS funding to tackle mental health.
Thanks to everyone who attended and helped make possible the Meet the Minister event, co-hosted with the brilliant Mind Matters society.

Wakefield Garden Party – Meet Greg Mullholland

Liberal Democrats for Wakefield District & Morley are holding their Summer Garden Party on Friday 11th July at 5.30pm where there will be an opportunity to meet Greg Mullholland: MP for Leeds North West.

Everyone is welcome to this enjoyable event where there will be an opportunity to meet one of our local MPs. The event is also a fundraiser ready for next year’s general election. If you are keen to come and bring £10 on the day to buy your ticket, please contact David Smith (MP candidate for Wakefield) for more details:

01924 260764

HS3 could drive economic growth in the North

The Liberal Democrats welcome George Osborne’s new commitment to a ‘HS3′ high-speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds, which could strengthen the North.

Nick Clegg has long believed that three cities – Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield – should become a ‘Northern golden triangle’ to drive economic growth in the North.

The Liberal Democrats have been working to rebalance the economy so that it benefits the whole country, rather than just the City of London.

The economic regeneration of the North is not going to be solved by improving transport links alone, so we will be setting out comprehensive plans soon to enhance the labour market and business environment across the North of England.

We hope that George Osborne will match his words with action by backing the Leeds City Region growth deal and its proposals for better transport links to other cities across the North

The biggest investment in roads since the 1970s

The government has today outlined plans to help fill more than 3 million potholes as part of a massive investment in the country’s local and major roads.

Councils across England have been allocated £168 million of funding from a Pothole Repair Fund, with which they are required to publish updates to local residents on how many potholes have been repaired.

This is part of the £24 billion which is being spent on England’s strategic road network between 2010 and 2021 – the biggest investment in the road network since the 1970s, which will contribute towards ensuring a strong economy.

Click here to view a map of the funding allocations for local authorities.

Legislation that will transform the Highway Agency is being considered in order to eliminate the uncertain ‘stop-start’ funding progress of the past and save the taxpayer at least £2.6 billion over the next 10 years.

The investment in the strategic road network is reflected by a further £7.4 billion committed to local roads in the next Parliament, along with funding from the £12 billion Local Growth Fund.

We are asking all authorities who are awarded funding to use the money to help repair potholes or to ensure that they do not appear in the first place

Labour’s hypocrisy on benefits

Ed Miliband has said that, under a Labour government, he would end entitlement to out-of-work benefits for 18 to 21 year olds refusing to take training courses.

This comes after Labour have opposed government reforms designed to make work pay and help people get on in life. By contrast, Liberal Democrats plans are working to help young people earn and learn, but we are trialling skills training for low-skilled young people to make sure that it is beneficial.

By refusing to give young people benefits, Labour will make it harder for young people to find work.

The Liberal Democrats believe in opportunities for young people. We will not scrap housing benefits for under 25s and we will still encourage young people to look for work, including learning on the job through apprenticeships.

In fact, we have introduced over a million apprenticeships for young people and youth unemployment is falling – down 100,000 over the past year. And as part of our Youth Contract we have made over 100,000 work experience placements available to young people.

Faith and community leaders unite to condemn FGM

Today, Norman Baker and Lynne Featherstone hosted faith and community leaders at the Home Office to discuss the unacceptable practice of female genital mutilation.

Attendees included representatives from organisations including the International Relief Foundation, FORWARD and the Muslim Women’s Network UK.

All representatives share the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to prevent and end this extremely harmful form of violence. By signing a joint declaration against the practice of FGM, they hope to send a clear message to communities across the UK that the practice is a form of violence and is not supported by any religious doctrine.

The final declaration will be signed by UK representatives of the world’s major religions during the government’s Girl Summit in July.

Minister for Crime Prevention, Norman Baker said:

“Female genital mutilation is a terrible practice that is not condoned by any religion.

“Political or cultural sensitivities must not get in the way of uncovering and stopping this abuse.

“The law in this country is clear but we need to win hearts and minds if we are to end FGM.

“Today’s summit is a landmark moment. By bringing together religious and community leaders to forge a commitment to condemn this shocking practice, we are working to support communities to abandon the practice themselves and to eliminate FGM within a generation.”

Regarded as a criminal offence in the UK, FGM is a human rights violation and can have a life long impact on survivors’ physical and psychological health.

Join our campaign to end female genital mutilation within a generation.

Intention to hire permanent staff at record high

Employer intention to hire permanent staff reaches a record high, with eight out of ten planning to create more permanent jobs in the next quarter, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s JobOutlook survey of employers.

More than half of employers are planning to take on more agency staff. The survey also reveals that the proportion of employers saying they need new staff to meet increased demand has risen from 25% at the start of the year to 34%.

More than six in ten employers report that they have not reduced the cost of their workforce at all in the last year, either via redundancies, reduced pay or headcount freezes.

The report shows that business confidence is growing. This proves that the work that the Liberal Democrats are doing to create more jobs by investing in business sectors has taken effect.

Inflation lowest in four and a half years

Inflation fell more sharply than expected in May, driven by a sharp drop in air fares and retail prices, with food prices at their lowest level in eight years.

Figures show that inflation has fallen to 1.5%, lower than it has been in nearly five years. This has marked the fifth month in a row that it was below the 2% target.

These figures show that the Liberal Democrat plan for a stronger economy is working.

Danny Alexander commented on the good news:

“As a result of our role in Government, the Liberal Democrats have created the right climate for the recovery and the country is now getting back on the front foot.

Today’s inflation figures add to a developing pattern of low inflation, strengthening growth and high levels of job creation.”

Forced marriage becomes a criminal offence today

Forcing someone to marry against their will becomes a criminal offence today. New legislation is designed to help people in England, Wales and UK nationals overseas who are at risk of becoming victims of forced marriage.

Forced marriage can lead to physical, psychological, emotional, financial and sexual abuse, including being held captive, assaulted and raped.

In 2013, the Forced Marriage Unit gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage to over 1300 people. The new legislation has also given law enforcement agencies powers that will allow them to pursue perpetrators in other countries.

The legislation will also make it illegal to force a UK national into marriage outside the UK for the first time.

The maximum penalty for breaching a Forced Marriage Protection order is five years and/or an unlimited fine. Victims will have the choice to pursue a civil or criminal option.

Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said:

“Forced marriage is an appalling form of abuse which crosses borders and cultural boundaries. The scale of reported cases is deeply worrying, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“Legislation is the next key step in solving this problem and builds on the hard work already being done by the government and third sector organisations to tackle this practice.

“The message from the coalition government is clear – forced marriage is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”