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MP Alan Duncan has quit the Conservative leadership race saying the party's "moralising wing" could condemn it to oblivion.
The Rutland and Melton MP is the first candidate to drop out of the contest.
The shadow transport secretary had said he would drop out if he did not quickly pick up backing among MPs.
"Censorious judgmentalism from the moralising wing, which treats half our countrymen as enemies, must be rooted out," he said.
Announcing his withdrawal to The Times, Mr Duncan, the first openly gay Conservative MP, said: "Our Achilles heel has been our social attitude.
We should ... allow people to live as they choose until they actually harm someone.
If the 'Tory Taliban' can't get that they'll condemn us all to oblivion."
Originally posted by marg6043
Our government has gotten away with a lot of things, and seen the reaction of the public in our country your country is going to tried to do the same.
Look at the recent attacks in london, they are going to become the best excused to gain public opinion and start their agendas.
Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Don't you find it all at the very least patronising Wizard?
Originally posted by UK Wizard
I find the fact that all the political parties think they can run my life better than me is indeed patronising.
But I think there is nothing wrong with a party saying what type of society they want.