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Gay marriage shift

Gay marriage shift

Several Cabinet ministers have softened their stance on gay marriage ahead of next week's vote, it emerged today. The Daily Mail reports that Chris Grayling and Sayeeda Warsi will swallow their doubts and vote for the measure at second reading, while Iain Duncan Smith is set to abstain. Owen Paterson is still set to vote against, the paper says.

The shift came as Philip Hammond today rejected claims that he had compared equal marriage to 'incest' in a confrontation with gay rights activists last week. "That’s a completely scurrilous interpretation," he told SkyNews. "I was actually talking about the situation which will be families to many of my parliamentary colleagues, where elderly siblings are supporting each other, perhaps caring for each other. They are not able to access any of the tax advantages that married couples, or people in civil partnerships can access."

Meanwhile, the Conservatives' long-promised tax break for married couples will not be included in this year's Budget, according to reports. Government sources have told the Daily Mail the break will not be introduced until 2014 or 2015.

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