Conservative MP Gordon Henderson has closed down his Twitter account after speaking out against same-sex marriage.

The MP, who represents the Kent constituency of Sittingbourne and Sheppey, is one of around 60 MPs who has signed an open letter against the government’s marriage reforms.

Mr Henderson said he closed his Twitter account as it was impossible to hold a “meaningful” debate on the issue.

He denied it had been because of the number of critical comments he had received.

“It is simply impossible to respond to those criticisms, or, to hold a meaningful debate, using just 140 characters”.

Speaking to Kent News, the MP added:

“Some of the comments that were posted on Twitter highlight why I am taking my stand.

“They show a level of intolerance, towards anyone who does not support their opinion that hints at the very prejudice that those tweeters claim is being perpetuated on the gay community.”