THE LORD Chancellor's Department has criticised the press over its confusing coverage of the Family Homes and Domestic Violence Bill and proposed divorce law reforms.
Reports at the close of last week claimed Lord Mackay's divorce reform plans might be abandoned after Tory traditionalists succeeded in postponing the passing of the domestic violence Bill.
MPs took eleventh-hour action after they realised legislation introduced through the Bill would grant co-habitees the same rights as married people.
However, stories linking the postponement to a likely divorce reform backdown by the Lord Chancellor were refuted by the LCD, which is hoping divorce law changes will be included in the Queen's Speech.
"There does seem to be an element of confusing the two," said an LCD spokesman. "But the domestic violence Bill and the divorce White Paper are entirely separate. There's been no change made to the divorce White Paper and it is still the Lord Chancellor's intention to reform the divorce laws."