It may be remembered that a Mr Thomas claimed a Widows Bereavement Allowance some years ago, but this was denied on the grounds that he was not a woman. The case was concluded against him in the UK, but he applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that he had been discriminated against on grounds of sex.

The ECHR recently ruled that there was no objective or reasonable justification for this discrimination and that there had been a violation of Article 14 of the Convention. Interesting – but perhaps not immediately significant, as the ECHR have no force under English law. HMRC have no power to grant him the relief, so presumably somebody will decide that we should change the rules to allow Mr Thomas his relief.