Tories urge PM to drop plans to redefine marriage

David Cameron has been urged by his own MPs to scrap his controversial gay marriage Bill to prevent losing core voters.

And a group of senior Conservative Party members has also warned the Prime Minister not to redefine marriage and focus on key issues such as the economy.

Sir Gerald Howarth, a former defence minister, said that his constituents were “fed up to the back teeth” with the Government.

Scrap

He challenged Mr Cameron to adopt a plan that included scrapping the gay marriage Bill.

Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, said: “Let’s dump gay marriage” because that is what Conservatives want.

Conservative Grassroots, a network of senior and local Conservative Party members, said it is “essential” that the Prime Minister drops his plans to redefine marriage now.

Voters

The group’s chairman Robert Woollard said the plans are driving away traditional Tory voters.

He said David Cameron, “is losing crucial votes and our membership base is falling rapidly – from 400,000 to 130,000″.

He also said, “the efforts of the activists have been deeply undermined by David Cameron’s personal commitment to redefine marriage”.

Opposition

“We were met with opposition to the redefinition of marriage time and again on the doorsteps during the local election campaign with many previously loyal conservatives saying redefining marriage was the tipping point- the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Last week, a ComRes poll for the Coalition for Marriage predicted that the Conservative Party would lose hundreds of seats in the local elections and the redefinition of marriage was a key factor.

In total, the Tories lost 335 council seats and control of ten councils.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will return to the House of Commons for its third reading in a matter of weeks.

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