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How Cameron could lose the same-sex marriage bill

By Paul Goodman, Conservative Home

The details of Commons manoevering on contentious bills are swiftly forgotten. It is only a few months since the House of Lords Reform Bill row, but some will already have forgotten that it wasn't defeated on the floor of the House. Rather, the Government calculated that it would lose a vote on the programme motion for the bill: such motions set the timetable for its debate at committee and report stage. If the programme motion had gone down, the Commons could have been clogged up for months with discussion of the bill that the Whips might not have been able to control. So it was pulled.

I have spoken during the last few days to three sources who insist that the same-sex marriage bill could meet the same fate. One is a senior Conservative backbench opponent of the measure. The other is a well-placed Government Minister.
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