Nicky Morgan: David Cameron did not pressure me to support equal marriage

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Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says David Cameron did not pressure her to support same-sex marriage in order to assume the role of Minister for Women and Equalites.

The senior Tory was asked of the Prime Minister’s involvement in an LBC interview on Tuesday evening by presenter Iain Dale.

“Absolutely not”, Mrs Morgan replied flatly, reiterating that she had changed her position following lengthy discussions with supporters in her Loughborough constituency after becoming responsible for equalites.

The Secretary of State said she had come to realise that people who are in “committed relationships”, whether they are of the same sex or opposite sex, “is something to celebrate”.

When asked how her u-turn was compatible to previously being opposed to equal marriage on religious grounds, the Minister replied: “My faith is very much a part of me … but there were a number of different reasons [for why I changed my mind].”

She concluded by saying: “Yup, my view on this has changed.”

Speaking to PinkNews last week, Mrs Morgan expressed regret in not voting for same-sex marriage.

Mrs Morgan was heckled by Labour MP Ben Bradshaw at last week’s PinkNews Awards.

The MP told PinkNews afterwards that he had been angered by the senior Tory “extolling the wonders of the equal marriage act” without acknowledging the fact that she had voted against the legislation.

Mr Bradshaw also said Mrs Morgan was lucky “not to be heckled twice” more over her failure to support statutory sex and relationships education (SRE) as part of a programme of Personal, Social, health and economic education (PSHE).

In an exclusive PinkNews interview, David Blunkett, who served under Tony Blair first as education and then Home Secretary, said he was “glad” about Nicky Morgan’s recent u-turn on same-sex marriage.

Mr Blunkett suggested Ben Bradshaw should have rephrased his heckle to: “You voted against it but are now forgiven”.

In response, Mr Bradshaw questioned David Blunkett’s comments that Mrs Morgan should be “forgiven” for voting against same-sex marriage.

The Department for Education (DfE) was criticised at the weekend after it tweeted that it was nonsense” to suggest that schools “must teach gay rights”.

Several hours later, the DfE issued a further set of tweets to clary it was responding to a report in The Sunday Times, implying that it was “complete nonsense” of the paper “to say that schools are being forced to ‘teach gay rights’ against their will”.