TWO county MPs abstained in the vote to force the Government to allow same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Gay marriage is illegal in Northern Ireland and a vote was held as part of House of Commons measures aimed at keeping Northern Ireland public services running, two-and-a-half years after devolved powersharing collapsed.

READ MORE: MP Robin Walker supports gay marriage

MPs voted overwhelmingly, by a majority of 310, to legalise same-sex marriage if a new Stormont Executive is not formed by October.

Worcester MP Robin Walker and Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston abstained, while West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin voted for the amendment. Home Secretary, Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid also abstained in Tuesday’s vote.

Mrs Baldwin said: “MPs are given a free vote on such matters of conscience and I have supported such

legislation when it has been debated in the House of Commons and in particular the equalising of rights for same-sex couples.

“With that in mind, I voted to support these efforts to extend the same rights to people in Northern Ireland as the rest of the United Kingdom.”

Mr Huddleston said he abstained was because the law states that a moral issue, like same-sex marriage, is a devolved matter. He said: “This was a struggle between moral and constitutional, with Parliament taking responsibility for an area that is devolved.

“I support the cause, so was not going to vote against. For that reason, on the moral votes, I abstained.”

Mr Walker said: “I felt that I had to show respect to the devolved Northern Ireland assembly, that are elected to deal with these matters. I have consistently voted for same-sex marriage.”

England and Wales legalised same-sex marriage in July 2013, and the law came into force in March 2014.

A Worcestershire Pride spokesman said: “It is encouraging that none of our MPs were among the minority who opposed.”

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