Tory MP Nadine Dorries says the issue of marriage equality could drain the Conservative Party of four million votes from Christian supporters.

Appearing on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme, alongside the gay Conservative political commentator and radio presenter Iain Dale, Ms Dorries backed marriage reform, providing the UK removed itself from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the MP said:

“I think it is absolutely right if a couple want to be together […] they have a right to marriage, and we should support them in that, but not while religious freedom is compromised”.

Opponents of the coalition’s equal marriage policy have repeatedly said that being linked to the ECHR increases the risk of faith organisations facing potential legal action if they refuse to provide gay couples with same-sex marriages.

Earlier this month, Conor Burns, the gay Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, Branksome East and Alderney, said he was not convinced by the government’s assurances.   

Ms Dorries, who represents Mid Bedfordshire, also claimed equal marriage was getting the Conservative Party into a “lot of trouble” with its religious supporters.

In May of this year, Ms Dorries called for the policy to be scrapped and claimed that the majority of gay people did not support changing the law.

Ms Dorries was subsequently bombarded with messages on Twitter, from gay people who disagreed with her views.