“I stood before a Conservative conference once and I said it shouldn’t matter whether commitment was between a man and a woman, a man and another man or a woman and a woman.
“You applauded me for that. Five years on, we’re consulting on legalising gay marriage.
“And to anyone who has reservations, I say this: Yes, it’s about equality, but it’s also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other.
“So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative,” he said.