(Photo: Reuters/Eddie Keogh)
Several prominent conservative Members of Parliament have revealed they have been victims of blackmail after failing to support the British government and its plans to legalize gay marriage.
The yet-to-be-named MP's have accused the Tory's Chief Whip, Sir George Young, of obtaining copies of their expenses records to use against them because they have failed to cast votes in favor of gay marriage.
Local reports indicate that at least one MP has already filed a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner stating that his personal finances, including travel and housing expenditures, are illegally being used to force him to support gay marriage.
"Sir George warned me that I should play ball with IPSA, or risk personal financial details being made public. I feel that amounted to blackmail," a source is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
But the Tory's Chief Whip has insisted that he legally obtained the records after filing a request with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).
"It is perfectly normal for the Chief Whip to discuss an MP's expenses with them if there is an issue … the information about the expenses of the MP who has complained was not confidential," according to an ISPA spokesman.
"It is complete paranoid nonsense to suggest that the Chief Whip has in any way used MPs' expenses difficulties as a way of enforcing discipline. It's just not his style," the representative said.
The development comes a short time after the director of the SOLAS Center for Public Christianity, a Scottish Christian organization dedicated to keeping faith in public life, accused a prominent gay-marriage advocacy group of using taxpayer dollars to drown out voices of opposition.
Rev. David Robertson made the comments concerning the Equality Network, a gay advocacy group leading the charge for the United Kingdom to legalize same-sex marriage. He says that they publicly label anyone with differing views as "homophobic" or a "bigot."
"The Equality Network have a definition of homophobia which means that anyone who disagrees with their position is homophobic," Robertson told The Christian Institute. "For example, I am not homophobic but am opposed to the redefinition of marriage."