Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen says Prime Minister David Cameron’s championing of equal marriage “has fuelled the rise of UKIP” and he has asked for a no confidence vote.
North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen revealed he had sent a letter to the party’s powerful 1922 committee calling for a ballot yesterday.
According to the Mail on Sunday as many as 25 of the 46 Tory MPs needed to trigger a vote on the prime minister’s future have now sent letters to senior Tory backbencher Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee.
The Huffington Post reported last month that the figure was closer to 30.
In an article for the Mail on Sunday, Mr Bridgen wrote: “By pressing ahead with gay marriage and delaying a promise on an EU referendum until he was forced to do so, Mr Cameron has fuelled the rise of UKIP. We have created our own nemesis.
“I believe the prime minister has blundered by forcing through the gay marriage vote. This was something we did not have to do. The PM marched us on to the guns over this and it has cost us a lot of support.”
Mr Bridgen – who refused to say whom he wanted to replace Mr Cameron – compared the situation to being in an aeroplane with a pilot who did not know how to land.
“We can either do something about it before the crash or sit back, watch the in-flight movies and wait for the inevitable,” he added.
Conservative equal marriage supporters such as Crispin Blunt MP and former MP Michael Portillo have predicted that division over the issue will die away for the party, with the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill now on its final approach to becoming law.
Following last week’s decisive second reading House of Lords vote, Mr Portillo said: “Parliament has voted and as I say big majorities have been achieved in both Houses – end of issue, over.”