Clegg forces his MPs to back the redefinition of marriage

May 29, 2012

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg will force his MPs to vote for redefining marriage, whether they like it or not.

It puts him at odds with his coalition partner David Cameron, who has allowed Tory MPs – including government ministers – to vote according to their conscience.

Mr Clegg made the comments on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show:

The plans to redefine marriage have caused division within the government. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, has said he will vote against the plan.

The Secretary of Defence, Philip Hammond, has said the Government should put plans to redefine marriage on hold so that it can concentrate on core issues like reviving the economy.

The Minister for Children and Families, Tim Loughton, made his views known in a letter to a constituent. He said there’s no need to change the meaning of marriage, especially when there are other important matters for the Government to address.

Earlier this month Gerald Howarth, a minister in the Department of Defence, said that the Government’s plans to redefine marriage had cost the Tory Party votes at the local elections.

A recent poll of MPs showed that the plan to redefine marriage is dominating their postbags, with most of the correspondence firmly against the move.