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Cameron thrown a lifeline as FIVE Cabinet heavyweights come out fighting for gay marriage ahead of tonight’s crunch vote

by Matt Chorley and Tim Shipman, Mailonline

  • Two most prominent Tory Right-wingers to back gay marriage Bill
  • Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling will today vote for the Bill
  • George Osborne, Theresa May and William Hague use open letter to persuade wavering MPs to back law change ahead of Commons vote
  • Cameron could be dependent on Labour and Lib Dems as up to 120 Tory MPs are expected to vote No and another 60 could abstain

Five of the most prominent Right-wingers in the Cabinet will today vote for gay marriage – offering David Cameron a lifeline in the face of the worst Tory revolt of his leadership.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has decided to back the push for same-sex unions out of loyalty to the Prime Minister.

In an outspoken intervention in support of gay marriage, Chris Grayling last night argued that the ‘collapse of marriage and families’ has ‘absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality’.

And George Osborne, Theresa May and William Hague used an open letter to wavering Tory MPs to declare it 'is the right thing to do at the right time'.

Up to 120 Tory MPs are expected to vote No on the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill and another 60 could abstain, leaving Mr Cameron dependent on Labour and Liberal Democrat votes to push the measure through.

At least two Cabinet ministers – Owen Paterson and David Jones – are expected to oppose the plans and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, another opponent of the Bill, is absent abroad.

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