Government backs call to raise legal age of marriage in England and Wales to 18

Sajid Javid wearing a suit and tie: Former chancellor Sajid Javid - © Provided by The Independent

Former chancellor Sajid Javid

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The minimum legal age of marriage is set to rise to 18 in England and Wales after minsters signalled their support for the landmark reform.

At the moment 16 and 17-year-olds can marry with their parents’ consent. But campaigners warn some teenagers are being coerced into marrying too young.

Now the government has said it backs moves to protect them from what the former chancellor Sajid Javid described as “child abuse”.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “The government supports raising the legal age for marriage to protect vulnerable children and will outline its next steps in due course.”

Government backs call to raise legal age of marriage in England and Wales to 18