The Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire, who last week said she supported gay people but said she found the equal marriage bill to be “unacceptable” has said she will positively abstain from this evening’s vote.
Andrea Leadsom, said she would vote yes to show her support for gay rights, but at the same time she would vote no because she thought the government did not have a mandate for it, and that the bill was ill-considered.
She wrote to a PinkNews reader that she had taken time to reflect on the issue, but that she found the wording of the legislation “unacceptable”, and that she wanted to reflect the views of “so many” of her constituents, who felt that the bill was “deeply wrong”.
Referring to an exchange of emails with the reader, during which she said that her “instinct” was to vote against the measure, she said she had “spent so many hours in deep concern over this issue”.
MPs cannot formally abstain, but are allowed to vote both yes and no to legislation, in order to sit on the fence.
If they choose not to vote, it is not clear whether they have abstained, or if they were just absent for the vote.