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Tory MPs’ fury at ‘bid to gag’ gay marriage rebels

By Macer Hall, Daily Express

OUTRAGED Tory MPs last night accused ministers of attempting to stifle debate over plans to legalise gay ­marriage.

MPs will get a free vote on the issue, they were promised yesterday. But Westminster sources indicated details of the Bill to introduce same-sex weddings will not be debated first in the usual full sitting of the Commons.

Instead the Bill will go straight to a committee of MPs. With up to 100 Tory members expected to rebel on the issue in the Second Reading on February 5, opponents claimed the move was an attempt to hide the bitter rift within the Conservatives.

Tory MP David Burrowes, a leading opponent of the Bill, said: “Redefining marriage is a hugely significant step that should be subject to a full debate in Parliament.

“This is a very divisive issue, both in the country and in the Conservative Party.”

Fellow Tory MP Stewart Jackson said: “The Government is terrified of the debate. This is going to be rushed through and MPs are going to be railroaded into supporting the Government’s timetable.

“It should put a proposal in a manifesto and then come back with it with a mandate after it has been put to the electorate.”

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