First Published: November 2002
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
The "Nasty" side of the Conservatives has been revealed again in all its glory, just weeks after pledges were made at their party conference promising that from now on they would be more socially inclusive.

Tory Leader Ian Duncan-Smith is imposing a three line whip on this week's adoption bill vote, putting his party's MPs under direct orders to vote against the bill which if passed would allow the adoption of children by unmarried and gay couples.

John Bercow, one of the shadow cabinet reformers, has just resigned over the issue, saying that he believes it should be an issue of personal conscience not one of party policy. Mr Bercow, who spoke on Work and Pensions, is the first person to resign from Iain Duncan Smith's shadow cabinet over a matter of policy.
His resignation follows a row at a recent shadow cabinet meeting where he was one of the most vociferous supporters of liberalising adoption laws, whilst confirmed "nasties" David Davis and Michael Howard were the staunchest defenders of the status quo.

It is likely that Mr Bercow will speak in the Commons debate on Monday afternoon to explain his reasons for wanting to vote in favour of making changes to the law.

The Adoption and Children Bill, was defeated in the House of Lords on 17 October contrary to the will of the elected House of Commons and against the advice of all the major children's charities.

The Bill would allow unmarried same-sex and heterosexual couples to adopt jointly. After it passes the Commons again, as it is expected to do, the Bill will go once again to the Lords. It may not pass into law if the Tories try and stall the measure again, and the Government runs out of time to get it passed before the dissolution of Parliament later this week.

Gay Parenting Special Report

Lords Reject Adoption and Children Bill (17 Oct 2002)


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