‘Disaster’ for Cameron as most Tories fail to back marriage bill

Tue, 5 Feb 2013

David Cameron suffered a “disaster” tonight, as most of his Tory MPs failed to back his Bill to redefine marriage.

Early indications suggest that more Tory MPs voted against Mr Cameron than supported him.

Colin Hart of the Coalition for Marriage said: “This result is a disaster for David Cameron.

“Despite a personal plea from the PM his MPs have overwhelmingly rejected gay marriage. Mr Cameron must think again.

“The scale of the opposition against the Government’s profoundly undemocratic plans is astonishing, and sends a clear message to the Prime Minister that he faces a lengthy and damaging battle to redefine marriage.”

Concern

MPs debated the Government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill over the course of this afternoon.

Many raised serious concerns about the possible implications of redefining marriage.

The Coalition Government had to rely on the opposition to win the vote by 397 to 172.

Contentious

Most MPs had a ‘free vote’ on the issue, but there was a lot of pressure put on MPs behind the scenes.

The contentious legislation will now be debated by a small group of MPs in committee, before going on to the House of Lords.

Campaign Director for Coalition for Marriage, Colin Hart, said: “Just a few months ago, if we had predicted this result, no one would have believed us, but our clear and simple message that these proposals are undemocratic and will lead to all sorts of unintended consequences has struck a chord with ordinary voters and now scores of MPs.

“We have consistently warned the legislation contains no safeguards for those who work in the public sector. Top lawyers, with a track record of winning against the Government, have said the quadruple lock is not sustainable and instead of trying to answer these questions the PM remains hell bent on ramming this bill through Parliament in a dangerously short period of time.

“Mr Cameron hopes that this matter is now settled. He is wrong. His attempts to distract those in his own party and the wider country from the fall out will fail. More importantly this is not the end of the fight against these ill-thought through and divisive plans.

“There are more votes in the Commons, more speeches, potentially dozens of amendments and then the bill will go to the Lords where the voting arithmetic is very different.”

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