I shall now obey Ronald Reagan's eleventh commandment - thou shalt never speak ill of a fellow Tory. And believe me, I'm tempted not to - obey it, that is.
Having said that, he does raise an interesting question: what is a family nowadays? The Oxford English Dictionary confirms John Hayes's view. It defines a family as "a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit." It also gives an alternate definition: "a group united by a significant shared characteristic". Families nowadays come in all shapes and sizes. Yes, the norm is a married couple with children - and that remains the bedrock of our society - but if the Conservative Party is to relate to Britain as it is today it needs to embrace all types of families, not just "the norm". We're not some quasi-religious sect, we're a political party. Indeed, we're a political family. It is such a shame that in our particular family one particular naughty boy deserves a good spanking today. Matron!
UPDATE: Steve Norris weighed into the debate on the GMTV Sunday programme this morning by saying: "This would be just as much an issue if the Conservative Government were in office and my advice to David Cameron would be exactly the same. You know the business of treating every person in our society as deserving of equal merit and having equal responsibility is something that’s absolutely fundamental to a decent liberal society and frankly I don’t think this case is any different from those many others where people no doubt very sincerely believe that they’re entitled to discriminate, I don’t think they are."