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Independent peer warns of growing Lords rebellion over gay marriage

Lord DearBy John Bingham, Telegraph

AN independent peer who has defeated governments on controversial hate speech laws and terror detention limits says he is now convinced gay marriage could be rejected by the House of Lords.

Lord Dear, the former chief constable of the West Midlands, says extensive soundings among fellow peers show opposition across all parties to the bill.

He said there was a growing belief in the Lords that even though MPs were given a free vote on David Cameron’s marriage bill, the large Commons majority was secured thanks to unofficial “arm twisting”.

Four years ago Lord Dear humiliated Gordon Brown, delivering a landslide defeat to the then Government’s plans to extend the period in which terror suspects can be held without trial from 28 days to 42.

Three months ago he secured a dramatic victory in the Lords with a vote to scrap laws criminalising “insulting” language.

He is now being named as a possible leader of any Lords rebellion on same-sex marriage.

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