Romsey’s MP, Caroline Nokes, was among the Hampshire Tories voting against the Government’s plans to legalise gay marriage this week.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was passed with a majority of 225 (400-175), thanks to the overwhelming backing of Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Other Tories joining Mrs Nokes in the “no” lobby were Julian Lewis (New Forest East), Steve Brine (Winchester), Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) and Caroline Dinenage (Gosport).

Mrs Nokes protested that despite Government promises of a “quadruple lock” of legal protections, churches could face a court challenge if they refused to allow gay couples to marry there.

She said: “The vast majority of my constituents opposed gay marriage,” adding: “I am not convinced the safeguards sought by the Church of England have been guaranteed.”

John Denham (Southampton Itchen) and Alan Whitehead (Southampton Test) were among the vast majority of Labour MPs who voted for the bill.

Mr Denham said: “I’m in favour. I believe that gay couples should be able to celebrate their long-term love and commitment to each other as straight couples can do.”