Keynsham's Conservative MP on why he opposes the gay marriage bill
By BeckyFeather | Monday, February 04, 2013, 21:14
Keynsham's Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has been explaining why he will not be voting for the Government's same-sex marriage bill which goes before a free vote of MPs tomorrow.
Mr Rees-Mogg, speaking on Radio 4's Westminster Hour, said of the vote: "I'm not under any pressure. I'm a Roman Catholic and have made it clear to my association from very early on that in this sort of matter I will take my whip from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, rather than from the Government's Whip's Office."
He said that grassroots Conservatives were very distressed about the Conservatives' introduction of same-sex marriage legislation and highlighted the fact that Ed Costelloe, chairman of the neighbouring Somerton & Frome Conservative Association, resigned from the role last month in protest at the gay marriage proposals.
"I think there is damage being done, that activists are leaving, some of them are considering joining UKIP in protest, and it's the people who raise the money, do the deliveries, are the backbone of local associations, who are most put out by this," said Mr Rees-Mogg.
He also revealed in the interview that he had been invited to dinner this week with Conservative MP Adam Afriyie who it has recently been reported could be a possible successor to David Cameron as party leader.
Mr Rees-Mogg said that he considered Mr Cameron led the party well and that it was "madness" that people should be plotting against him.
Hear the interview in full.