A plan to abolish the Act of Settlement, which is being considered by the UK Government, could ultimately lead to the disestablishment of the Church of England. The 1701 Act also prevents Muslims and other non-Protestants from succeeding to the throne. And it forbids the monarch from becoming a Catholic. Scrapping the act would also end the practice of primogeniture where male heirs are given priority in the succession. That could pave the way for a first-born daughter of Prince William to ultimately succeed him as monarch. On Friday night it was reported that Chris Bryant MP was drawing up the options for constitutional reform. Bryant, an aide to Harriet Harman, the Labour deputy leader, has now passed his recommendations to Wilf Stevenson, one of the Prime Minister's advisers. Any move to scrap the Act could only come about if Labour wins the next election. Earlier this year, Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary said that ministers would consider abolishing the 307-year-old Act of Settlement because it is "antiquated" and discriminates against a section of society. The Act has come under growing pressure from, Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, who has campaign for its abolition. This year Peter Phillips, the Queen's eldest grandson and 11th in line to the throne, faced having to surrender his place in the succession because of the Act. Mr Phillips, the son of the Princess Royal, married Autumn Kelly, a Canadian management consultant who was baptised a Catholic. She renounced her Catholicism and converted to Anglicanism in order to preserve his place in the order of succession.
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