David Cameron sent an email to members of his Conservative Party urging unity.
In an article for ITV News, Conservative councillor Mary Douglas talks gay marriage and urges David Cameron to return to 'core values'.
David Cameron has defended the equal marriage bill while Nick Clegg claims a civil partnership amendment is laced with an "ulterior motive".
- An amendment to allow registrars to opt out of conducting same-sex marriages received the support of 150 MPs in a Commons vote tonight
- The MPs - many expected to be Tory backbenchers - had signed an amendment which if passed would have allowed registrars to opt out of carrying out gay marriages
- The 150 MPs represents a significant opposition to the Government's plans. But they were defeated in the House of Commons by 340 MPs, Government majority 190
MPs are debating the Coaliton's controversial plans for gay marriage in the Commons this evening. Knowing he'd lost support for the plans from his own side to lose, the Prime Minister has cut a deal with Labour to get it though.
The temporary pact should see this historic measure through the Commons.
Political Correspondent Libby Weiner reports:
The first opinion poll has been released since allegations emerged that a senior Tory aide described grassroots activists as "swivel-eyed loons".
- Conservative: 24% (-5)
- Labour: 35% (-1)
- Liberal Democrat: 11% (-1)
- UKIP: 22% (+6)
- Other: 8% (nc)
The Prime Minister's spokesman has hinted the Government will accept a Labour amendment tonight on extending civil partnerships - a move that should ensure the Same Sex Marriages Bill becomes law.
The Culture Secretary Maria Miller had argued for a lengthy consultation over five years about whether civil partnerships should be extended to included heterosexual couples. Labour today put forward a Manuscript Note - a form of amendment - demanding an immediate consultation.
– David Cameron's spokesman
The Manuscript Note is entirely consistent with the Secretary of State's amendment, which is that there should be a full consultation within five years.
The implication is that the Government and Labour can reach agreement, to ensure the Same Sex Marriage bill goes through.
– Speaker John Bercow addressing MPs in the Commons
I wish to report to the house that the rooms of a member were searched yesterday pursuant to a warrant issued by the circuit judge in Preston Crown Court on 16 May. The warrant related to the investigation of a serious arrestable offence.
I should remind members, as did my predecessor in 2008, that the precincts of parliament are not a haven from the law...The investigation is continuing and it would not be right to comment further. I will not take questions on my statement.
The Conservative Party Board has rejected a suggestion that an investigation be held into alleged comments by chairman Lord Feldman, Tory MP Brian Binley said today.
The offices of Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans were searched by police on Sunday in connection with an investigation into allegations of rape and sexual assault.
Commons Speaker John Bercow said the offices were searched after an order was granted by Preston Crown Court on Thursday. He said he had been consulted before officers entered Parliament.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "We have confirmed that we have searched offices in London in connection with the investigation but it is inappropriate to comment any further other than to say that we have gone through all the appropriate and necessary procedures before taking this step."
Mr Evans, the Tory MP for Ribble Valley, was arrested on May 4 on suspicion of raping one man and sexually assaulting another between July 2009 and March 2013.
He strenuously denies the allegations and has stepped aside from his duties in the Commons though he has not been suspended.
Tory MP Tim Loughton has denied accusations he is trying to "wreck" the passage of the Government's gay marriage bill with an amendment on civil partnerships.
The divisions over same-sex marriage, though, only add more storm clouds over Westminster for David Cameron at a difficult time for the Conservative Party, as ITV News' Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:
An MP's office in the House of Commons was searched by police yesterday in relation to a "serious arrestable offence" on the orders of Preston Crown Court, Commons Speaker John Bercow said.