There is pressure on Conservative politicians to keep quiet about not being religious, a Tory MP has claimed – as he revealed his atheism for the first time in his 28-year career.
James Arbuthnot said he felt he could only now say that he is an atheist because he is not seeking re-election.
The North East Hampshire MP likened the need to keep quiet to the pressure that has been faced by people who are gay.
His was speaking in a debate on a bill to allow prayers in council meetings.
Mr Arbuthnot predicted that his public acknowledgement that he is “not in the least bit religious” was likely to “disappoint” some of his constituents and family members.
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