Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has expressed his joy at the announcement that gay couples in civil partnerships will in December be able to convert to marriage.

Minister for Equalities Sajid Javid earlier today announced that couples already in civil partnerships will be able to convert to marriage by attending a register office from 10 December 2014.

Tweeting this afternoon, Mr Clegg celebrated the news, saying: “Great news. From December 10th, couples in civil partnerships will have the #FreedomTo convert their relationship into marriage. V pleased.”

Today’s announcement came at the end of a public consultation into the future of civil partnerships. The Government concluded that civil partnerships will not be abolished, but also will not be extended to straight couples.

The results showed that 76% of respondents were against extending civil partnerships to straight couples, but that a majority were also against abolishing the legislation altogether.