Robert Buckland: Tory MP ‘disappointed’ by equal marriage is new justice secretary

Robert Buckland outside Downing Street

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has appointed Robert Buckland, who has repeatedly voted against equal marriage, as his justice secretary and lord chancellor.

The MP for Swindon South takes up the prestigious role following the biggest cabinet clear out with no change in party in Britain’s modern political history.

Since becoming an MP in 2010, Buckland has consistently voted against equal marriage legislation.

In May 2013, the 50-year-old politician voted against allowing same-sex couples in England and Wales to marry.

Buckland to oversee Ministry of Justice duties in new role

Later, in March 2014, he voted against extending gay marriage to armed forces personnel outside the UK and enabling courts to deal with divorce or annulment proceedings for same-sex spouses.

Earlier this month, Buckland abstained from a vote on a bill to extend equal marriage to Northern Ireland, which was subsequently passed.

In his new job, Buckland, who also voted in favour of repealing the Human Rights Act 1998 in May 2016, will oversee all Ministry of Justice business, including judicial policy, pay and the department’s resources.

Justice secretary Robert Buckland previously said “marriage is between a man and a woman”

Boris Johnson has appointed several Tory MPs who voted against equal marriage in May 2013 to cabinet roles. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

As well as Buckland, Johnson has appointed several other Tory MPs who voted against equal marriage in May 2013 to top cabinet roles, including Priti Patel as home secretary, Gavin Williamson as education secretary, and Jacob Rees-Mogg as leader of the House of Commons.

Buckland takes over the role from David Gauke, who resigned on Wednesday (July 24) after Johnson was elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party.

The Swindon South MP, who campaigned for Britain to remain in the European Union, was vocal in the local press about his views against introducing same-sex marriage in 2013.

Following the passing of equal marriage in 2013, he told the Swindon Advertiser: “I’m disappointed that the bill passed, but I have to accept that a majority voted for the bill and I’m a democrat like anybody else.

“I think now it’s important that if this legislation is to be passed, that it’s as workable as possible and it’s a job I think of all Parliamentarians to make sure this is the case.

I’m disappointed that the bill passed.

“So although the vote was a fully clear and decisive majority, I do think there are detailed issues that need to be addressed by the Government about the effect of this legislation upon churches and other denominations, and also the effect upon civil partnerships and civil marriage.”

Earlier that year, he told the regional paper: “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.”