Following the resignation of Nigel Evans, Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, who rallied against the same-sex marriage act, is to stand in the contest to be Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.
She announced her candidacy on Friday in the London Evening Standard, saying: “I’m going to stand. I have a proven track record of achievement in Parliament.”
The 56-year-old Mid-Bedfordshire MP was one of the most vocal critics of David Cameron’s policy to introduce equal marriage and wrote on the Conservative Home website in May 2012: “Gay marriage is a policy which has been pursued by the metro elite gay activists and needs to be put into the same bin.
“I have yet to meet a gay couple in my constituency or beyond who support it; in fact, the reaction has been quite the opposite. Great Britain and its gay couples don’t live on Canal Street in Manchester, shop in The Lanes in Brighton or socialise at Gaydar in London.
“Gay couples are no different from heterosexual couples and yet this policy transforms them into political agitators who have set themselves against the church and community. The policy is divisive, unpopular with the public, is tearing the Conservative Party apart and will influence absolutely no one in terms of the way they vote in the future.”
In October 2012, Ms Dorries claimed equal marriage could drain the Conservative Party of four million votes from Christian supporters – and that she could never support the policy until the UK had removed itself from the European Convention on Human Rights.
In May 2013, she tweeted:
“If gay marriage bill takes sex out of marriage could a sister marry a sister to avoid inheritance tax?”
“If David Cameron wants Conservative Party to lose as many as fifty seats at next election he must push forward with the gay marriage bill”.
“If sex is removed from the legal definition of gay marriage, if it can’t take place in a church, what is gay marriage? What defines it?”
“If the answer is love, if legally is only link between gay/straight + marriage is being redefined to accommodate, why do we need marriage?”
“Legal definition of marriage is the basis of the law itself at present it’s based on definition of consummation.”
“Legally, marriage is wholly about sex.”
Meanwhile, Conservative Transport Minister Simon Burns has resigned from the government to run for the position of Deputy Commons Speaker.
The MP for Chelmsford was among ten Tory junior ministers to vote against the same-sex marriage act at third reading in the Commons in July.
Mr Burns has clashed with Speaker John Bercow several times in the past.
On one occasion, Mr Burns described the man under whom he now seeks to serve as a “stupid sanctimonious dwarf”.
Mr Bercow is a well known supporter of LGBT rights and his coat of arms features a rainbow flag together with the pink triangle; both symbols of gay rights, around the words “All Are Equal”.