David Cameron has made a statement – as MPs prepare to vote on the Marriage (Same Sex) Couples Bill at 7pm this evening.

The prime minister said: “Today is an important day. I am a strong believer in marriage. It helps people commit to each other and I think it is right that gay people should be able to get married too.

“This is, yes, about equality. But it is also about making our society stronger.

“I know there are strong views on both side of the argument – I accept that. But I think this is an important step forward for our country.”

This afternoon MPs have been debating the meassure.

Ahead of the vote, Culture Secretary and Minister for Equalities, Maria Miller, told MPs: “What marriage offers us all is a lifelong partner to share our journey; a loving stable relationship to strengthen us and a mutual support throughout our lives.”