The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that today’s vote was a “landmark for equality in Britain”.

Mr Clegg, who became the first major political leader to support same-sex marriage in an article for PinkNews in 2010 said: “I genuinely believe that we will look back on today as a landmark for equality in Britain.

“Tonight’s vote shows Parliament is very strongly in favour of equal marriage.

“No matter who you are and who you love, we are all equal. Marriage is about love and commitment, and it should no longer be denied to people just because they are gay.

“The Liberal Democrats have long fought for equal marriage. It is party policy and I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are part of the Coalition Government that are making it happen.

“I especially want to pay tribute to Lynne Featherstone, whose dedication and tenacity have been critical to making this happen.”

MPs voted 400 to 175 in supporting the government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - a majority of 225 votes - following an afternoon of heated debate in the House of Commons.

Mr Clegg’s deputy within the Liberal Democrats, Simon Hughes, supported the main Marriage bill but defied the whip to vote against the programme motion to move the bill to the next stage in the Parliamentary process. The Lib Dem’s President Tim Farron did the same.