Norman Tebbit on gay marriage: What next? A lesbian queen?
Former Tory chairman says Cameron has made a hash of gay marriage, pushing Tories to quit for UKIP
TORY grandee Norman Tebbit has launched an outspoken attack on David Cameron over his push to legalise gay marriage, saying the Prime Minister and his Cabinet have "f***ed up".
The 82-year-old former Conservative party chairman, one of the most senior veterans of the Margaret Thatcher era, told the Big Issue that new marriage laws could affect the royal succession and even prompt sisters and brothers to marry each other in an effort to avoid inheritance tax.
"Maybe I'll be allowed to marry my own son," Lord Tebbit said. "Why shouldn't a mother marry her daughter? Why shouldn't two elderly sisters living together marry each other? I quite fancy my brother!"
Tebbit said the push to change marriage laws could also complicate royal succession. "When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?" he asked.
Tebbit claims the Tory Cabinet discussed the gay marriage bill for just "20 minutes" before announcing it. The resulting disunity among backbenchers over the issue is proof that the PM has "f***ed up", he said.
Turning his ire on the PM's senior ministers, Tebbit said most of them had gone straight into politics and "hadn't even worked in a bank!" As a result, "they don't perceive much of what's going on in the rest of the world," he said. "They f***ed it up."
Tebbit has never shied away from speaking his mind and in his heyday was nicknamed the Chingford Polecat (he represented the Essex constituency from 1974 to 1992.) But his latest outburst is colourful even by his standards.
His comments emerged after Cameron was forced to rely on Labour support to keep the gay marriage bill on track through Parliament. Tebbit said the party's leaders have "alienated" traditional Conservatives over the issue and other controversial matters such as the referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. Disaffected voters are flocking to UKIP as a result, he said.
If Nigel Farage's anti-EU party makes "significant gains" in the European elections, Tebbit said, they will be backed by wealthy people to mount a "significant campaign" at the 2015 general election.