The Tory old guard are flexing their arms over marriage equality…all 20 of them.
Senior local Conservatives have accused Prime Minister David Cameron of “betraying” the grassroots of their party, as they deliver a last-ditch attempt to delay the vote on same-sex marriage.
A group of 20 senior local Conservatives have today written to Mr Cameron imploring him to delay a vote on same-sex marriage until after the next election.
It came as William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said he became a supporter of gay marriage “over the last couple of years”.
He said he considered whether it was right in principle, if there was enough public support and if there were protections for people who did not agree with it.
“I think as times have changed, civil partnerships came in, within a remarkably short period of time those things become accepted,” he told BBC 1′s Sunday Politics. “I think the same will happen with this.”
The “strongly-worded letter”, delivered personally to Downing Street by a delegation of six members this afternoon, protests against the proposals being made “without adequate debate or consultation”.
According to its content, the passing of the Bill will lead to “long-held religious and personal freedoms and the right to free speech” being “adversely affected”, as well as “significant damage” to the Party in the 2015 election.
What a bunch of old fuddy-duddies…Cameron should tell them to sling their hook.
Highlighting the “level of controversy” and “division of opinion” caused by the proposals, representatives today claimed members of the party are leaving in their droves in protest.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph outside Number 10 today, they have now appealed to a “wooden-headed” Mr Cameron to listen to the roots of the party, arguing more time should be given to the debate before a vote goes ahead.
The group, made up of chairmen and former chairmen of local Conservative Associations, have today accused Mr Cameron of betraying the ordinary people by pushing ahead without a proper mandate.
One said grassroots members had been left “angry, disillusioned and deeply puzzled” over the “sudden” introduction of the proposals, as another said life-long supporters no longer felt “at home” in the Conservative Party.