The Conservative MP for North-East Somerset has said that he will choose to be “whipped” by the Catholic Church rather than by his party.

MP Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour on Sunday. He said of the same-sex marriage bill vote this Tuesday: “I’m not under any pressure. I’m a Roman Catholic and have made it clear to my constituents that in this sort of matter I take my whip from the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church rather than the Whip’s Office.”

He stated his opposition to the Conservative’s introduction of same-sex marriage legislation: “If it’s a strategy it’s a very bad one, and we know the Prime Minister is a very clear man. If this is a strategy the Conservatives won’t get any credit for it and it distressed many of our activists.”

“I think the grass roots are very unhappy,” he added. “I think there is damage being done, some activists are leaving, some are considering joining UKIP in protest, and it’s the people who are the backbone of local associations who do the work who are the most put out by it.”

23 Conservative Chairmen wrote to David Cameron in opposition to the bill on Sunday; on Monday 50 senior local Tories wrote to him in favour of it.

The majority of the Cabinet have said they will vote in favour of the bill.