Tory MP slammed over bizarre tweet about sibling marriage after civil partnership rule change

Posted On: 
2nd October 2018

Labour have accused a Tory MP of being "astonishingly out of touch" after he mocked the new government policy on civil partnerships with a bizarre tweet about siblings getting married.

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh
Credit: 
PA Images

Theresa May announced that heterosexual couples will be allowed to enter civil partnerships for the first time if they do not wish to get married.

But veteran MP Sir Edward Leigh said: “Mixed-sex civil partnerships to be legalised. Why not for siblings too?”

Theresa May: Government will bring in civil partnerships for heterosexual couples

Straight couples ‘could be allowed to enter into civil partnerships’

In an apparent attempt to explain his comment, the Gainsborough MP added: “Why should siblings who've lived together for years have to pay estate duty when one dies? See Lord Lexden's bill earlier this year.”

According to parliamentary records, Sir Edward has consistently voted against changes that would improve gay rights.

Shadow Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler said: “The Conservatives are astonishingly out of touch.

“From the party of Christopher Chope who blocked the Upskirting Bill, we now have this appalling tweet from Edward Leigh.

“It is yet another example of MPs in the Conservative party who stand in the way of progress.”

Tory chairman Brandon Lewis failed to comment when approached by PoliticsHome.

The change in rules announced today will end the anomaly of those in gay relationships being able to form a civil partnership or get married, while opposite-sex couples can only opt for the latter.

Unveiling the move at the Conservative conference in Birmingham, the Prime Minister said: “As Home Secretary, I was proud to sponsor the legislation that created equal marriage.

“Now, by extending civil partnerships, we are making sure that all couples, be they same-sex or opposite-sex, are given the same choices in life.”