Cameron's 'kamikaze' move to rule out marriage tax breaks ahead of controversial gay marriage vote

Alex Forrest

Former Political Correspondent

Conservative MPs get a free vote in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on Tuesday Credit: Reuters

"A kamikaze move by government" is how one Tory MP put it to me, over plans to rule out tax breaks for married couples in next month's budget just days before a controversial vote on gay marriage.

Many Conservative MPs just do not get it - when the tax measure is in the Coalition Agreement.

The Government is still promising legislation will be introduced before 2015, to allow married couples to transfer part of their tax allowance to their partner. But many MPs are now sceptical it will ever happen.

And it s not just Members of Parliament who are incensed. There are rumours that Tory members are leaving the party over the issue of gay marriage. There is even talk of constituency party chairmen trying to deselect MPs who vote in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on Tuesday. Even big names are facing trouble on their doorstep, including, I am told, Education Secretary, Michael Gove.

One local activist told me he believed David Cameron had a death wish. He is convinced it will lose the Tories the next election.

Conservative MPs get a free vote on Tuesday. But whichever way it goes, it is already damaged the party.