Labour fear Lord Dear will table a new wrecking amendment for the equal marriage bill

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Labour peer Lord Alli believes the equal marriage opponent and crossbench peer Lord Dear is still intent on trying to derail the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – although Lord Dear denies the claims.

In an email to Labour peers, seen by City A.M., Lord Alli states that Lord Dear “has asked for his supporters to be ready” on 17 June to vote for the removal of clause one from the bill.

This clause includes the crucial statement that “marriage of same-sex couples is lawful”.

A separate email sent to Labour peers says: “We are aware that Lord Dear is intending to put down an amendment to oppose Clause 1 of the bill. This is likely to come fairly early on Monday 17th.”

The former Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Lord Dear, had tabled a ‘fatal’ amendment to deny the bill its second reading, but this was defeated on Tuesday with the Lords voting 390 votes to 148 in favour of the bill.

It will now go on to committee in the Lords, where it will be scrutinised line-by-line on the floor of the Upper House from Monday 17 June.

Yesterday, Lord Dear said he is “most definitely not doing” what is described in the emails.

“The next stage is to go the other way, be very mature about it and see what can be done in committee,” he explained, citing issues involving divorce, artificial insemination, and protecting the beliefs of teachers.

Writing exclusively for on Thursday, Conservative peer and former health secretary, Lord Jenkin of Roding, said it was “unlikely” that opponents would seek to derail the bill in the wake of Tuesday’s overwhelming Lords majority “with endless repetitive speeches”.

However, Matthew Sephton, chairman of LGBTory, struck a more cautious tone and urged for people to continue to lobby peers in support of marriage equality.

“Once committee and report stages take place in the Upper House, any number of amendments could potentially be tabled – some helpful and constructive, but some designed solely to try to at least undermine or at most derail this bill,” he warned.