David Cameron, has been urged to scrap the equal marriage bill, in an effort to attempt to win back voters who chose UKIP over his party in last week’s local elections.
The Prime Minister was told to take urgent action, or that he would face losing members of the Conservative party to the UK Independence Party.
A former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth, said his constituents were “fed up to the back teeth” because he said the Government had failed to address promises made.
He went on to suggest that Cameron should take action by adopting a plan to throw out the equal marriage bill, as well as to opt out of the European Convention on Human Rights, cut immigration, hold an immediate EU referendum and freeze the overseas aid budget, reports the Times.
In a move that was seen as acknowledging the threat of UKIP, last week Cameron pledged to publish a referendum bill, and had said he would do “everything I can” to show voters that he would hold a referendum on the EU, even if the bill was defeated in the House of Commons.
The latest local election results show the Conservatives had lost control of nine councils – with UKIP making large gains, polling an average share of 25%. This success came in spite of a Tory Cabinet Minister dismissing UKIP as a “collection of clowns”.
Cameron is facing calls form backbench MPs to introduce the measures to win back voters, following UKIP’s successes.
Sources within the Conservative party suggested that UKIP could could soon win a by-election in anything but a safe Labour seat, and that the party headed by Nigel Farage, would do well in next year’s European elections, reports the Telegraph.
Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, and a strong and vocal opponent to measures to legalise equal marriage, said that the Government should scrap the bill to legalise it, as well as cut international aid. He said: “Those are things that Conservatives want and that’s what UKIP voters want.”
He went on to say that Tories should be allowed to stand as “Conservative and UKIP” candidates, if given an endorsement by Farage’s party.
Nigel Farage yesterday suggested that, if David Cameron were removed, his party would consider a Tory-UKIP pact. He said:
“If David Cameron gets removed and somebody else was put in place who wanted to come and talk to us and say ‘Shall we find an accommodation?’, we’d consider it.
“We have got to grow. But please don’t think it’s impossible. UKIP is here to stay.”
Last week, the Coalition for Marriage said that David Cameron’s support for equal marriage explained why the Conservatives had been expected to perform badly in the local elections across England and Wales.