MPs to form cross-party group on women’s state pension

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A group of MPs have agreed to form a new all-party parliamentary group to support the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign.

The campaign focused on women born in the 1950s who have seen their state pension age firstly increased and then accelerated as part of a process of reforms.

The Waspi campaigners argue the changes were poorly communicated, and have succeeded in securing parliamentary debates, while the Work and Pensions committee is also engaged in talks to allow women early access to their state pensions.

The APPG will feature Conservative MPs Jason McCartney and Tim Loughton, Labour MPs Andrew Gwynne and Barbara Keeley and the Scottish National Party MP Gavin Newlands.

Gwynne says: “We had a very successful preliminary discussion between a small group of MPs and the Waspi co-founders, and we came away energised and with plans to form an official All-Party Parliamentary Group on the issue next month.

 “Hopefully, with cross-party support, we can help the Waspi women take their campaign forward in Parliament.”

Newlands adds: “We are absolutely clear – the UK Government cannot shirk their obligation to the women across the UK who are affected by their changes to the state pension age. The government must accept responsibility, apologise and correct this as a matter of urgency. Ignorance simply will not suffice.”

The group hopes to be formally constituted in an initial annual general meeting, currently scheduled for mid-May.

It will seek to engage with ministers and more broadly provide support for the Waspi campaign.

APPGs have no official status within Parliament, but are instead designed to provide an informal groups of MPs and Peers to pursue a particular topic or interest.