LONDON, England, November 4, 2002 ( – The UK Labour government of Tony Blair has passed its bill to allow unmarried couples and homosexuals to adopt children, by 344 votes to 145. But media attention is focused on Iain Duncan Smith, the leader of the opposition Conservative Party, who continues to face an internal party rebellion over his refusal to support the law. The London Telegraph was reporting earlier today that up to 40 Tory MPs could vote against their own leader in the UK House of Commons tonight. But in the vote, held a few hours ago, only 8 MPs voted against Smith and with the Labour government. They included Michael Portillo and Ken Clarke, once touted as leadership material on the right and left respectively. Smith says his position was “based on the needs of the children, rather than the adults,” and that being adopted by a homosexual or unmarried couple would be against children’s interests because statistically such couples are more likely to end in a broken home. When elected leader last year, Smith vowed to “modernize” the Tories and make them more inclusive of minorities, youth and women—even though the party was led by a woman, Margaret (now Baroness) Thatcher, from 1974 to 1990. For BBC coverage of the Commons vote see: For coverage in The Telegraph see: and in The Times see:,,1-8-469180,00.html