Clegg attacks Cameron on gay marriage
Monday 28 May 2012
A decision by Prime Minister David Cameron to allow Tory MPs – including ministers – a free vote on gay marriage was condemned yesterday by Nick Clegg.
The Deputy Prime Minister said it was wrong to let the issue become a "great free-for-all" as it was a government commitment – not a conscience vote. The Prime Minister and other Tory ministers support same-sex marriage, but he faces backbench dissent about the move. Backbench hostility, as well as opposition from Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, has forced him to concede a free vote on the proposal.
Commons leader Sir George Young said last week that Tory MPs would have a free vote as it involved "matters of conscience".
But Mr Clegg told the Andrew Marr Show: "If this was an issue that somehow the Government was proposing something that would somehow be an imposition on religion or the churches, then of course that would be a matter of conscience. We are not."
Mr Clegg insists the measure will become law – and suggested Mr Cameron should be tougher with backbench opponents.
"It's something I believe in... and I think we should now do this because we're not asking any person with religious convictions to sacrifice anything," he said.
- 1 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.