A Tory MP has said that in order for his party to reconnect with its supporters it will probably need to offer a “sincere apology” for the way in which David Cameron introduced same-sex marriage.
Adam Afriyie made the comments following the local elections last week in which the party lost control of 11 councils and 168 seats.
Writing on the Conservative Home website, the MP for Windsor said the party should “identify and acknowledge the causes of voters’ alienation before we can begin to address the challenge for 2015”.
He added that because people “feel disconnected from the privileged Westminster establishment”, the Conservatives and other mainstream parties had been “punished at the ballot box”.
“The party establishment must reconnect with these supporters. And this will probably mean a swallowing of pride with a sincere apology for the way gay marriage was introduced”, he said.
During an episode of the BBC’s Question Time in March, a woman in the audience spoke about how the Government had “completely ignored” two-thirds of a million traditional marriage supporters.
She cited a Coalition for Marriage petition with over 600,000 signatures supporting marriage between one man and one woman and said “a huge swathe of the population” had been sidelined by the Government.
Earlier this month, a Com Res poll revealed that one in three voters believes that David Cameron has undermined Christianity in this country.
Of those surveyed, 50 per cent think that marriage should be defined as an “exclusive commitment” between a man and a woman and over four in ten agree that the Church of England will be forced to conduct same-sex marriages “irrespective” of what the views of individual church ministers are.
Colin Hart, director of The Christian Institute, which commissioned the poll, said Christians had been “marginalised” and that the survey should act as a “wake-up call” to Mr Cameron.