Top Tories: leave fringe issues like gay marriage

Two more Government ministers have called for fringe issues like plans to redefine marriage to be put on hold.

Secretary of Defence, Philip Hammond, and Children’s Minister Tim Loughton, say the Government should focus on more important matters.

They join junior Defence Minister, Gerald Howarth, who was the first Government minister to speak out earlier this month.


Mr Hammond, a Cabinet Minister, has refused to back such a change saying that the Government should “focus on the things that matter”.

And Mr Loughton has said that marriage should remain the union of one man and one woman.

The Government is currently holding a consultation on its plans to rewrite the definition of marriage.


Mr Hammond said: “Clearly it’s not the number one priority. If you stop people in the street and ask them what their concerns are, they’ll talk to you about jobs and economic growth, they’ll talk to you about the level of the wages they’re earning, wanting to see real growth in wages again.”

He added: “There is no legislation in the Queen’s Speech [on gay marriage]; there’s a consultation going on, and we should look at, listen to what people are saying in response to that consultation.”


And Mr Loughton, the parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, made his opposition to same-sex marriage clear in a letter to one of his constituents.

He said: “I do not see why we need to change the law, especially at this time when there are so many other important matters for the government to be addressing.

“Until now I have not received a single letter from a constituent pressing me to support gay marriage.”


Last month a new poll revealed that the Conservative Party could lose up to 30 parliamentary seats and over 1.1 million votes if it bulldozes ahead with plans to redefine marriage.

The poll, conducted by ComRes, showed that the party’s support for gay marriage is alienating former Tory voters.

For every disaffected Tory supporter attracted back to the party, it loses almost three because of its stance on the issue.

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