Rob Flello, the Labour Shadow Justice Minister and MP for Stoke-on-Trent South has told a PinkNews reader that he will vote against the Government’s upcoming legislation to introduce same-sex marriage.

Last year, Labour leader Ed Miliband changed a plan to have a whipped vote on the issue after rows with shadow ministers. Although he said “the whole shadow cabinet is united in supporting same-sex marriage together with the vast majority of all Labour MPs.”

Mr Flello is a Labour front-bencher who does not sit in the shadow cabinet but he is a relatively senior Labour figure to come out against the change in the law proposed by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition that is supported by the leadership of the Labour party.

In an email to a PinkNews reader, Mr Flello’s office said: “Rob is a very religious man and does not agree with same-sex marriage taking place within a church, but is a great supporter of civil partnership.
 
“I am sorry that I cannot be of any further assistance.”

Last year, PinkNews.co.uk revealed that Labour’s decision to grant its backbenchers a free vote on equal marriage caused a major rift in the shadow cabinet with deputy leader Harriet Harman amongst those calling for the vote to be whipped.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, a Labour source described a meeting of the shadow cabinet as descending into a “massive row” and that two prominent MPs threatened to resign from Labour’s front bench – if the party went ahead with a whipped vote.

A number of backbench Labour MPs have already said that they will vote against introducing marriage equality.