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Attorney General thought gay marriage bill wasn't necessary
DOMINIC Grieve, the Beaconsfield MP, says he abstained over the gay marriage vote in Parliament because he questioned its necessity.
The Attorney General, whose constituency includes Marlow, was one of 176 Conservative MPs who did not support the Government.
Normally he would be bound by collective responsibility as a Cabinet Minister to vote with the Government – or have to step down.
But the Prime Minister allowed a free vote and two Cabinet members in fact voted against the bill.
Mr Grieve insisted his decision would not have come a surprise to his colleagues.
Despite his reservations, Mr Grieve emphasised he does not believe the bill will force churches to have same sex marriages against their will.
He told the MFP: "I don't think that will happen. Nevertheless, there's a question about whether this legislation is in fact needed and whether it's necessary and the right way of going about creating equality. I have doubts about that."
A large number of constituents wrote to him about the issue.
"This was the biggest I've ever had, it ran to hundreds and hundreds of emails," he said.
"Overwhelmingly these were against the proposal."
A few did support the bill though some members of the Beaconsfield Conservative Association have indicated they will resign as a result, he added.
He believes the impact on the Conservative party has been exaggerated, with differences in opinion on all sides of the House of Commons.
Wycombe MP Steve Baker, Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan and Aylesbury MP David Lidington voted against.