Lord Tebbit: "Maybe I'd be allowed to marry my son"

Andrew Burns May 21, 2013
Norman Tebbit

Former Conservative chairman Norman Tebbit wades into the debate over gay marriage and Tory disunity

Conservative heavyweight Normal Tebbit believes the government is not fully prepared to pass the gay marriage bill – and has questioned how it could impact on Royal succession.

The bill will receive its third reading in the Commons today (Tuesday), after MPs rejected Conservative MP Tim Loughton's ‘wrecking amendment’ that would see heterosexual couples offered the same access to civil partnerships as gay couples.

Prime Minister David Cameron said equal marriage would help build a stronger and fairer society – earning the backing of the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband – but former Tory attack-dog Lord Tebbit has questioned the can of worms that could pop open if the legislation is passed in a hurry.

“The government discussed it for twenty minutes on the morning of its announcement,” former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit told The Big Issue. “They'd done no work on it beforehand. I said to a minister I know: have you thought this through? Because you’re doing the law of succession, too.

“When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?’

“It’s like one of my colleagues said: we’ve got to make these same sex marriages available to all.

“It would lift my worries about inheritance tax because maybe I’d be allowed to marry my son. Why not? Why shouldn’t a mother marry her daughter? Why shouldn’t two elderly sisters living together marry each other?”

Lord Tebbit also launched a verbal assault against Cameron’s ministerial team, claiming the disunity that continues to split the Tory party shows that ministers have “fucked things up”.

He said: “Most of them haven’t even worked in a bank! They went straight into politics. The consequences are that they don’t perceive much of what’s going on in the rest of the world. They fucked things up.

“Some of these ministers these days don’t talk to their civil servants. They get their special adviser to talk for them. And then they come to me and say ‘It’s dreadful, my officials won’t do what I want!’ And I Say ‘What do you think it was like for me?’”

Meanwhile, as UKIP continue to soak up headlines, Lord Tebbit hinted that Nigel Farage’s party – whom he has repeatedly suggested represent many traditional Conservative values more closely than the current Tory crop – could find their feet with the right backing.

He said: “If they make significant gains in the European elections, I know there’s people rich enough to get involved and fund a significant campaign at a general election.”

To read the full interview with Norman Tebbit, read this week’s Big Issue, on sale now. Follow us on Twitter @bigissue.

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