A Tory constituency chairman has quit the party after 49 years over gay marriage, calling it an “ill-thought-out” idea.
Edmund Costelloe, chairman of Somerton and Frome Constituency Conservative Association has resigned as leader because of the Prime Minister’s controversial proposals.
In his leaving speech to the group, Mr Costelloe said redefining marriage is an “undebated and ill-thought-out attack on marriage between a man and a woman for the procreation of children.”
He added: “David Cameron and a group of colleagues have utterly lost touch with the grassroots of the Conservative Party, the majority of whom are outraged by this attack on natural and historic family values.”
Mr Costelloe said gay marriage is unnecessary as civil partnerships already give equal legal status, as well as tax and inheritance rights to same-sex couples.
According to a poll carried out for the campaign group Coalition for Marriage, over 70 per cent of Conservative Party Constituency Chairmen think the gay marriage proposals should be scrapped.
And nearly half of the constituency chairmen said they had lost members over the issue, while six in ten said it will cost the party votes.