24 Nov 2012

Cameron facing revolt on gay marriage

3:06 pm on 24 November 2012

British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing what could prove to be the biggest Conservative rebellion of his premiership over plans to introduce gay marriage.

Some 118 Tory MPs out of 303 in total have indicated to their constituents that they are uneasy about the highly controversial move, according to The Daily Mail.

The reported figure is a sign of how divided the Conservative Party is over gay marriage, despite Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne being personally committed to legalising it.

Ministers have promised to introduce a bill before 2015, although it has been claimed this week that Mr Cameron actually wants to fast-track legislation and bring it before Parliament early next year, PA reports.

The government has indicated that there will be a free vote, meaning that MPs will be able to vote against the Prime Minister's position without facing disciplinary action.

However, a large Tory vote against gay marriage will not help the party appeal to centre ground voters.

Mr Osborne warned last week that ditching the policy would be toxic electorally, saying that polls indicate a "clear majority" in favour of the change, particularly among the young and women.