Conservative Defector to UKIP Roger Helmer and Cardinal Keith O’Brien

In March 2012 Roger Helmer who was elected as a UK Conservative Party MEP and previously sat with the European Conservatives and Reformists group, defected to UKIP and the EFD bringing the group’s numbers to 34

In March 2012, Helmer spoke out in support of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, who had earlier condemned the government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage as a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.” Although he had formerly been critical of the Roman Catholic Church, labeling it “systematically paedophile”, Helmer praised O’Brien’s statement, opining that “Christian moral principles are not a bad basis for a free and fair society”. He furthermore commented that “once you start to tamper with the institution of marriage, you get into some very murky water indeed”, and that such a move could set a precedent that would lead to the legalisation of communal marriage and incest.

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