Call for equality of sexes in royal succession

Three months before the royal wedding, MPs will launch a new attempt today to scrap ancient laws discriminating against women succeeding to the throne.

Former minister Keith Vaz will table a Bill calling for the royal succession rules to be rewritten to ensure equality of the sexes. Under the principle of "primogeniture", laid down in the Act of Settlement of 1701, men have automatic preference to the throne over older women. Mr Vaz's Bill will call for the "removal of any distinction between the sexes in determination of the succession to the Crown".

He said: "With the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, we have a once in a generation opportunity to change the law. Prince William looks like a very modern prince. If he has a daughter first, it is only right that she become Queen of England." Mr Vaz says he has "quite a bit of support".