Pink News reports that several top donors to the party are threatening to quit over issues including the equal marriage bill. The issue of gay marriage has split the Tory party with David Cameron supporting equal marriage while many of his MPs are against it.
Over 100 MPs voted against marriage equality at the last reading of the Bill in the House of Commons and the Prime Minister has faced repeated calls for the bill to be abandoned.
There are concerns from some within the party that they will lose votes to UKIP at the next general election if gay marriage is legalised. While David Cameron has stood firm in his support for gay marriage when it comes to critics within the party the possibility of top donors quitting may shake him. Sources claim that three top donors, who have donated millions, are now threatening to leave unless the marriage equality bill is dropped.
The rise of UKIP, in local elections, has shaken the Tory Party and Cameron has sought to appease his critics – and reach out to disfranchised party supporters – by promising a referendum on EU membership IF he wins the next election. However, many within the party are not convinced that is enough to secure his position and rumblings about gay marriage are likely to carry on.
The legalisation of same-sex marriage is supported by the majority of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. A number of other European countries – such as Iceland, Denmark, Holland and Spain – have already legalised gay marriage. The UK’s neighbour France has also recently voted to legalise same-sex marriages though that decision has met with some protest. Scotland is pushing ahead with its own bill to legalise same-sex marriages despite opposition from the Catholic Church.
Although UKIP performed well in the recent local elections the party has suffered from some bad press in recent weeks. Several candidates in the local elections hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons; mostly due to homophobic statements made by them.
Nigel Farage, the party leader, made headlines earlier this month following a disastrous visit to Scotland where he was met by angry protestors and, as commentators noted, was virtually run out of the country. Farage added fuel to the fire by describing protestors as racist and denouncing the SNP – the Scottish National Party. Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, hit back by claiming Farage had “lost the plot”.