More grass roots Tories in South Holland are worried about the prospect of gay marriage than they are about Britain pulling out of the European Union.
South Holland District Council’s leader, Conservative Gary Porter, made the claim following media hype about Tories deserting the fold for UKIP – and a scandal with a senior party figure allegedly calling grass roots Conservatives “mad, swivel-eyed loons”.
Tory co-chairman Lord Feldman denied making the remarks and Coun Porter talked to the peer at a Conservative Party Board meeting on Monday.
“For what it’s worth, I am convinced he didn’t say it,” he said. “That’s not to say somebody didn’t say it but it wasn’t him.”
Coun Porter says immigration and unemployment are bigger issues with working class Labour voters and they switched to UKIP in the county elections while the Conservative vote “stayed at home”.
He said: “Our party has got to make sure it reconnects back with people on the street and that is going to be difficult with the gay marriage issue. Personally, I couldn’t give a monkey’s about it. I don’t know why they have chosen to make such a big thing of it.
“If our association is anything to go by, our lot by and large are pretty typical, then gay marriage is a far bigger issue than pulling out of the European Union.”