Anti-same-sex marriage Tory peer Lord Tebbit has joined in calls to have equalities minister Maria Miller step down.

The former Conservative cabinet minister and ex-Tory chairman Lord Tebbit on Sunday joined the Conservative Grassroots organisation in calls for Minister for Women and Equalities and Culture Secretary Maria Miller step down.

Lord Tebbit accused Mrs Miller of “arrogance”.

She was last week ordered  to repay £5,800 and apologise to MPs after over-claiming expenses on her mortgage.

The Minister for Women and Equalities was responsible for steering the government’s same-sex marriage legislation through the Commons.

Lord Tebbit was one of the staunchest opponents against the government’s decision to legalise equal marriage during the debates in the House of Lords last year.

He said that David Cameron had “fucked things up” by introducing same-sex marriage, as it would lead to incestuous or polygamous marriage.

The peer also argued that gay people are not currently discriminated against as a gay man has the same right to marry a woman as he does.

By coincidence, the first same-sex weddings in England and Wales took place on the 82-year-old’s birthday, Saturday 29 March.

Conservative MP and former party leader Iain Duncan Smith at the weekend came to the defence of Maria Miller over recent expenses inquiries, saying she is facing a possible Tory backlash for “the gay marriage stuff.”

He said: ”And also the gay marriage stuff – there’s a lot of Conservatives out there who perhaps weren’t necessarily supportive, also feel rather bitter about that. In a sense, she is also receiving some of that as part of this process.

“My view generally is that I’m supportive of Maria, because if we are not careful we end up with a witch hunt of somebody.”

A change.org petition has been started which calls for Mrs Miller to “pay back £45,000 in fraudulent expense claims or resign.” At time of publication, around 80,000 people had signed it.