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Conservative party ripped apart by gay marriage vote

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By Robert Watts, Telegraph

The full scale of this week’s revolt by Conservative MPs against David Cameron’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage became clear on Saturday.

The Sunday Telegraph has established that around 180 Conservative MPs, most notably including six whips and up to four members of the Cabinet, are ready to defy the Prime Minister’s plan to legalise gay weddings.
 
Meanwhile, 25 chairmen or former chairmen of Conservative party associations across the country have signed a letter to Mr Cameron warning that the policy will cause “significant damage” to the Tories’ 2015 general election campaign.
 
One chairman, who has quit over the issue, said “this is a policy dreamt up in Notting Hill”, while a serving chairman said it had angered the grassroots more than Europe.
 
The vote on Tuesday is the first parliamentary vote on the gay marriage legislation and a test for the Prime Minister. However Downing Street now expects that only around 120 of Mr Cameron’s MPs will vote in favour of legalising homosexual unions. This leaves around 180 Conservative members likely to abstain or vote against. They include:
 
 
 

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