Parties rift over Lords
Philip Hammond has warned that neither Lords reform nor gay marriage should be a "priority" for the Coalition's legislative programme.
Baroness Warsi also declared reform to the Upper House should not be the Government's focus.
But former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown hit back, declaring that it should be a "priority" to make the Lords partially elected.
Appearing on the Andrew Marr Show this morning, the Defence Secretary said gay marriage was clearly "not the number one priority". He also warned the public would want the Government to focus on "the things that matter", rather than Lords reform.
“Legislation on the House of Lords is in the Queen’s Speech; it will be introduced, and it will proceed. The question will be to what extent the Government should be prepared to clear the decks of everything else in order to possibly deal with a lengthy and very complex war of attrition over this particular piece of legislation."
Asked on Sky News' Murnaghan about the reform, Baroness Warsi said: "Do I feel that the House of Lords reform is an absolute priority right now? No I don’t."
Speaking earlier, the head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission told the Government to "get on with it" and legislate for gay marriage.
In what may be seen as a veiled criticism of Tory infighting on the issue, Trevor Phillips said:
"My message to David Cameron and friends is get on with it and my message to other people is get over it. Get on with something that really matters and the country absolutely cares about. This is not the ground on which to fight."