Tory MP who called same-sex marriage ‘arrogant’, defects to UKIP

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A Tory MP who voted against same-sex marriage, calling it “arrogant”, has announced his defection to UKIP, and will re-stand for his seat in a by-election.

Douglas Carswell, the MP for Clacton, will be standing down, and will seek re-election.

He voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act at its Second and Third Readings last year, and in 2007 voted against protections for sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services, under the Equality Act.

Carswell wrote a letter in 2012, ahead of the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation, to voice his concerns against it.

He wrote: “Although I believe in equal treatment for gay people and believe that all people should be able to live under the same laws, I am opposed to the Government’s proposals. I think there is something a little bit arrogant about ministers supposing that it is for them to redefine communal rules that have existed for centuries.”

The 43-year-old also voted against secondary legislation linked to same-sex marriage.

If he were to win the by-election, he would become the only UKIP MP to currently take a seat in Westminster. He said he wants to “shake up” the Westminster “clique.”

He made the announcement of his defection at a London news conference.