Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather to face two days of protests by Labour for voting against equal marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather is to face two days of protests by Labour Party members in her north London constituency in response to her decision to vote against the same-sex marriage bill.

Directly after last Tuesday’s vote, the former children’s minister explained in a blog post that her decision stemmed from wanting to protect “the link between family life and marriage”.

As a life-long liberal and a committed Catholic the MP said it was a “difficult decision” to oppose her party’s policy.

Ms Teather was one of four Lib Dem MPs to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – along with Sir Alan Beith, Gordon Birtwistle and John Pugh.

Seven other Lib Dem MPs were also absent from the vote.

Sarah Teather’s decision was seen as a surprise by many, considering that she had been a strong advocate for equality in the past.

Labour opponents in her Brent Central constituency remain unsympathetic and have pledged to hold a demonstration on Saturday and Sunday outside Willesden Green Tube station.

According to the Harrow Observer, Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt wrote an open letter to the Lib Dem MP, saying: “Even beyond voting for her government’s cuts agenda, this is a fundamental betrayal of the people of Brent and we want to make sure she knows how angry our community is about being let down and misrepresented in this way.”

Last week, 22 Labour MPs voted against the bill – and 16 MPs including Gordon Brown were not present for the vote.

Mr Brown’s spokesman subsequently told that the former prime minister had been on a pre-arranged trip in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Global Education.