Today’s urgent question on gay marriage was largely shadow boxing for the statement on it, which has now been brought forward to tomorrow. Maria Miller insisted that the chance of a legal challenge to try and forces churches that don’t want to marry gay couples to do so was negligible. But Cameron’s comments about allowing those religious demoninations that want to marry gay couples to do so, led to Edward Leigh calling for another consultation on this issue.
Interestingly, just before the urgent question started John Randall, the Conservative Chief Whip, and Greg Hands, another member of the whips office arrived in the chamber.
The Tory questions on the issue were fairly evenly split between those in favour of same-sex marriage and those opposed. The culture secretary dealt with the questions with courtesy, she sensibly wants to take some of the heat out of this debate. But even she could not contain a flash of irritation when Matthew Offord asked if the government was now going to consult on polygamy.