Section 28 reopens Tory split

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Indy Politics

The Government moved to exploit Tory infighting yesterday by bringing forward proposals to repeal the Section 28 ban on the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

The Government moved to exploit Tory infighting yesterday by bringing forward proposals to repeal the Section 28 ban on the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

Ministers have decided that the Local Government Bill, which includes an amendment to abolish the clause, will return to the Commons for its crucial report stage next week. It had been expected to be brought back late next month.

The bitterness of the conflict between traditionalist and modernising wings of the Conservative Party were underlined yesterday when Lord Tebbit accused Michael Portillo of a "testosterone failure". He said he would personally lead Tory peers in the fight against any attempt to repeal Section 28 when the Bill moves to the House of Lords.

Iain Duncan Smith has promised his backbenchers a free vote, but hopes to reassure the grass roots of the party with a compromise amendment.

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