Plans to redefine marriage have “thrown up so many unforeseen difficulties and inequalities” that they should be dropped by David Cameron, Ann Widdecombe has said.
The former Conservative minister, writing in her Daily Express column, said such a move would “take courage”, but she urged the Prime Minister to act now.
She commented that “massive defections” would result if the issue continued to ‘rumble on’ closer to the next General Election in 2015.
Ann Widdecombe was making the comments following the reported resignation of Andrew Cooper – an adviser to the Prime Minister who backed same-sex marriage.
In her column, published today, she wrote: “Cooper may be on the way out but the terrible fallout from gay marriage continues.
“Cameron should abandon the policy and drop the legislation, which would at least enable some unwilling leavers to return.
“He need not disavow the principle but should simply say that the plan has thrown up so many unforeseen difficulties and inequalities (which it has) that he is unable to implement it.
“Yes, that will cause a mighty row at this stage but better to have that quarrel now, two years away from an election, than to have it rumbling on through the election itself causing massive defections.
“Anybody who watched the UKIP campaign on the ground at Eastleigh knows how much it emphasised this policy.
“It will take courage to drop the Bill now but, oh, how so many of us are longing for the Prime Minister to demonstrate just that.”
In February it emerged that Lord Ashcroft, the Tories’ largest donor, said he will not fund the party because of David Cameron’s obsession with issues like gay marriage.
The Peer, who has given over £10 million to the Tories, says he’s still a Conservative but wonders whether Mr Cameron is.
A close friend told the Daily Mail: “He thinks Cameron is too easily distracted by fringe issues which only the metropolitan elite care about, such as gay marriage.”