Conservative party activists are “mad, swivel-eyed loons” – says Conservative & Unionist Party Official
Conservative party activists are “mad, swivel-eyed loons”
– says Conservative & Unionist Party Official
A close ally of the Prime Minister has branded party activists, “mad, swivel-eyed loons”.
The remarks from a member of David Cameron’s inner circle are likely to fuel the Conservative revolt over gay marriage laws, which are due to be voted on in Parliament next week.
The PM already suffered a crushing blow to his authority this week, when 116 MPs defied him over a referendum on Europe, and even more are set to oppose legalising gay weddings.
In an attempt to play down the internal unrest, the ally insisted there was nothing to worry about.
The senior Tory said: “It is fine, there really is no problem.”
But he then added: “The MPs just have to do it because the associations tell them to and the associations are all mad, swivel-eyed loons.”
The comments will infuriate the party faithful and many Tory MPs who already regard Mr Cameron and his cronies as arrogant and out of touch.
In another challenge, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond broke Cabinet ranks to launch an astonishing attack on the PM, claiming the gay marriage legislation had been given too much parliamentary time.
He said it was the wrong priority when voters were facing tough economic times.
Mr Hammond, who has been touted as a possible leadership contender, said: “I have just never felt this is what we should be focusing on.
“There was no huge demand for this and we didn’t need to spend a lot of parliamentary time and upset vast numbers of people in order to do this.”
And Mr Hammond claimed there was a “real sense of anger” among millions of married couples that the Government was redefining what marriage meant.
Tory MPs have been given a free vote on gay marriage but the PM has championed it as a personal crusade in the face of fierce opposition from many in his party.
Mr Cameron’s spokesman, said: “The Prime Minister’s position is that he is a big believer in marriage, that’s why he thinks gay people should be able to get married.
“He also thinks it is right for it to be a free vote.”