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Otley war widow takes campaign to Parliament

Otley war widow takes campaign to Parliament

Published at 8:27am 16th June 2016. (Updated at 12:26pm 16th June 2016)

An Otley woman has joined forces with other war widows to take their campaign to Parliament.

Susan Rimmer was denied her war widow's pension after remarrying in 1989, after her first husband was killed in Northern Ireland.

Various changes over the years to Government's compensation policies have left an anomaly - that women widowed between 1973 and 2005, had remarried and given up their compensation, are unable to have their compensation reinstated.

It affects around 200 to 300 women.

Yesterday, Susan and her current husband were joined by their MP, Greg Mulholland, for a meeting with Defence Minister Mark Lancaster to call for compensation.

From left to right, Greg Mulholland MP, Otley resident Susan Rimmer, her second husband David Rimmer, outside the Ministry of Defence

Greg Mulholland, Otley resident Susan Rimmer and her second husband, David Rimmer, outside the Ministry of Defence

Mr Mulholland said: "Today was a very moving day. War widows who have been treated unjustly and let down spoke about being forced to give up the compensation they were rightly entitled to.

"I want to pay tribute to their courage for protesting outside Parliament today, and I also want to pay tribute to the service their husbands gave to our country.

"The meeting with Defence Minister Mark Lancaster was useful and I know that he greatly values the families of our armed forces.

"It was heartening that the Minister clearly recognised that it is odd and unfair that now it is accepted that people should not lose compensation following the death of their spouse serving their country for remarrying, that some people continue to be penalised for this.

"The Minister said he would look at how they might be able to address this issue, which is very encouraging, so we hope that the Government will now find a way ensure justice for all widows and not just some."

Susan added: "I hope our campaign took a real step forward today.

"I was pleased to meet other war widows from around the country, women who have been through my same situation. I was proud to protest alongside these women outside Parliament today.

"Greg Mulholland MP then took me and my husband David to meet the Minister.

"He heard our concerns clearly and I now want him to do what he can to resolve the injustice of so many women being forced to give up the compensation for our husbands' deaths."