Former Government Minister Ann Widdecombe is urging David Cameron to listen to his own party on the issue of same-sex marriage if he wants to stay in his position beyond the next election.
Miss Widdecombe said in her column for the Daily Express that the defeat in Eastleigh proves that supporters have left the Conservatives because of the issue.
She said: “Sorry David but it is you, not your party, that has to change if you are to be PM after 2015.
“Gay marriage has played an enormous role in all this but you wouldn’t listen – you brushed off your MPs, who were trying to tell you that their supporters were leaving, with the words ‘it’s a free vote’.”
“They tried to tell you that no matter how they voted supporters would leave because the Conservatives were introducing the measure – and now Eastleigh has made the point for them – but you wouldn’t listen.”
Miss Widdecombe is highly critical of the Prime Minister’s modernising advisers, who are “perfectly happy” for Tories who oppose gay marriage to leave the party.
She said one of her friends who is a gay journalist and is against same-sex marriage, was “taken to task” by one adviser for disagreeing with the Prime Minister’s views.
She said he cannot afford to lose voters who support traditional marriage.
Miss Widdecombe said of the Prime Minister: “So when you see us hanging on by our fingertips you stamp on our fragile grip. But er… you need our votes”
She said: “Big-headedness and pig-headedness ain’t going to win anybody’s votes.”
Last week, the former MP slammed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for being far from equal.