MP DAVID Nuttall has defended his decision not to support Government plans to legalise same-sex marriage.

The Bury North MP, pictured, has come under fire from high school teacher Ben Farnworth who supports equal marriage.

Next Tuesday, MPs will vote on the plans when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has its second reading in the House of Commons.

Mr Farnworth contacted the MP to raise his support for same-sex civil marriage. But Mr Nuttall replied: “I believe that the definition of marriage is that it is between one man and one woman. I do not believe in changing the definition of marriage.”

Mr Farnworth, who lives in Bury, was “extremely disappointed” by the MP’s response and added: “I believe the role of an elected MP is to represent the views of their constituents and not their personal views.”

He told Mr Nuttall: “You have the opportunity to vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which will extend the legal form of marriage to same-sex couples. This is the first key Parliamentary step towards securing marriage equality in England and Wales and one that I am wholly in support of. I would like to ask that you reconsider your previously outlined stance on this issue.”

Mr Nuttall told the Bury Times: “I have had many representations on this matter. Far more people have urged me to support the present definition of marriage rather than vote to change it.

“This is a free vote issue where MPs vote in accordance with their personal opinion and conscience. I have always held the view that marriage is between one man and one woman. I will vote against any proposal to change the definition of marriage.”