A TORY MP has joined a growing rebellion against his party’s proposals to allow same-sex marriage.

East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe has joined 60 Commons members and Lords in opposing the plans announced by the Coalition last week to allow gay marriage.

A strongly-worded letter accuses the Government of not having a mandate to redefine marriage.

It reads: “At the last election, none of the three main parties stood on a platform to redefine marriage.

“The Government is ignoring the overwhelming public response against the plans. We believe that the Government does not have a mandate to redefine marriage.”

Mr Metcalfe was the only south Essex MP to sign the letter.

He said: “It’s not for us as a Government to play around with redefining marriage.

“I broadly agree with everything in the letter and had no problem signing it.

“I support civil partnership and there is no place for prejudice in the modern age, but I don’t think it’s for the Government to redefine marriage.”

The letter has cross-party support. A Bill is expected at the end of January.