Tory MP: Same-sex marriage to blame for UKIP gaining MP

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Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh has claimed that same-sex marriage is partly responsible for UKIP gaining their first ever elected MP.

Douglas Carswell, a former Tory MP who described equal marriage as “arrogant”, defected to UKIP last month, and was re-elected with a huge majority following a by-election in Clacton this week .

Sir Edward Leigh, the MP for Gainsbrough, blamed “controversial and revolutionary” policies like same-sex marriage for the rise of Nigel Farage’s party.

He wrote for Conservative Home: “The people of Clacton have sent a warning shot across the bow of the Conservative Party, and party leaders would be foolish not to take this threat seriously.

“Of course many voters who turn to UKIP will return, but enough could stay to permanently threaten Conservative electoral prospects: we must get them back.

“Because UKIP was created by the failures of our leadership, they are the only ones whose actions can get our people back in the fold.

A whole host of errors conceived or approved of by Tory bigwigs has fostered the steady loss of votes to the Faragists… [including] controversial and revolutionary social policies such as same-sex civil marriage.

“These actions have been pervaded by a constant tone of attacking the record of the oldest and most successful political party in the world as ‘the nasty party’.

“In order to reconnect with our supporters, we need to break up the Coalition.

“It would send another signal to our former voters that we mean it on protecting the armed forces, promoting marriage, and tackling waste in our country’s massive social and health bureaucracy: a big ask.”

Mr Leigh has repeatedly called on his party to “apologise” for introducing same-sex marriage, saying in June: “I think it was a great mistake to bring in gay marriage. I think some future Labour government would have done it anyway. It wasn’t necessary for a Conservative government to do it. But it’s done now [and] we are not going to undo it.”

Sir Edward added: “I would have thought a senior Conservative minister could at least apologise to our traditional older supporters, who value their traditional old-fashioned marriage [and say] we were sorry that we upset their core beliefs.