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David Willetts launches families chapter of draft manifesto as Labour steal Tory policy on grandparents' access to grandchildren

WILLETTS DAVID NW Labour are today announcing plans to make it easier for grandparents to gain access to their grandchildren after divorces or family breakdown.

Nice idea - and one taken straight from David Willetts, who announced it as Tory policy at the party conference last year when he said:

"We must improve the rights of grandparents to have access to children. The courts should at least have to consider whether there should be continuing legal rights to access in the event of family breakdown."

Mr Willetts went head-to-head with Children's Secretary Ed Balls on the Radio 4 Today programme - which you can listen to here - on the day that the Conservative Party publishes the families section of its draft manifesto. You can click here to download it in full, but here are the highlights:

  • End the couple penalty in the tax credit system;
  • Recognise marriage and civil partnership in the tax system by the end of a Parliament;
  • Increase the focus of Sure Start on the neediest families;
  • Provide 4,200 more Sure Start health visitors;
  • Allow free nursery care for pre-school children from a diverse range of providers;
  • Extend the right to request flexible working to every aprent with a child under the age of eighteen;
  • Introduce a new system of flexible parental leave to allow parents to share maternity leave between them
Jonathan Isaby


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