Extra state benefits paid to additional wives in polygamous marriages are to stop under the Government's welfare crackdown, the Daily Express has learned.

Taxpayers will be astonished by the revelation that spouses in such marriages are entitled to payments under special rules agreed by Labour – and that one estimate puts the total bill at around £10million a year.

Polygamy is thought to be most prevalent among Muslims as some interpretations of Islamic law allow a man to have a "harem" of up to four wives.

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