Tory leader David Cameron has said he will give gay couples in civil partnerships the same tax benefits his party will give to married couples.

His party confirmed to PinkNews.co.uk last month that civil partnerships would be treated the same as marriages, but this is the first time the Conservative leader has spoken openly on giving tax breaks to gays.

According to Reuters, he told an audience at a meeting of thinktank Demos: “We will recognise marriage, whether between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man, in the tax system – and yes, that is a commitment.”

Unlike other European countries such as Spain and Portugal, gays cannot marry in the UK.

Instead, they can have civil partnerships, which grant them all the rights and benefits of marriage without the name.

Cameron has said the Tories would change the tax system in order to give benefits to those in relationships recognised by the state.

He said in December that a society which values marriage is “a good and strong society, although he has revealed few details about how the scheme would work in practice.

Cameron was forced to admit he “messed up” over the plans, when he said in an interview recently he “hoped” to implement the tax break changes after promising he would.

He has now affirmed that the change will go ahead if the Tories get into power.