David Cameron will read the letter, but won't change his mind over gay marriage

Alex Forrest

Former Political Correspondent

The letter addressed to the Prime Minister Credit: ITV News

I'm told by a source close to the Prime Minister that he will read the letter delivered to Number 10 today by current and former local Tory party chairmen, and that he will take their views on board. But it was stressed to me that it's not going to change David Cameron's attitude towards gay marriage.

Even some of those who signed the letter admit that they don't think it will change Mr Cameron's mind. And that's because there is a growing feeling that he isn't listening to the Tory grassroots and is alienating much of the wider party.

Instead those local Tories hope they'll persuade more Conservative MPs to vote against the bill. Remember it is a free vote on Tuesday. But my sense is that when it comes down to it, we will see more Tories abstain rather than choose walk through the no lobby. As one MP put it to me, with all this talk of leadership plots, "some will be minded not to put the boot in" to David Cameron.

And with most Labour and Lib Dems expected to support gay marriage, the vote's likely to be won anyway.