A Wiltshire MP has come under fire for saying society needs families with a mother and father who stick together for their children.

In a speech at the National Conservatism Conference on May 15, Devizes MP Danny Kruger said: “The normative family – held together by marriage, by mother and father sticking together for the sake of the children and the sake of their own parents and for the sake of themselves – this is the only possible basis for a safe and successful society.

“Marriage is not all about you. It’s not just a private arrangement. It’s a public act, by which you undertake to live for someone else, and for wider society; and wider society should recognise and reward this undertaking.”

This sparked a backlash across Twitter and according to the Guardian a spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he disagreed with Kruger’s statement.  

Liberal Democrat councillor for Trowbridge Joe Trigg also strongly opposed with the statement and echoed online sentiment.  

She said: “I am the child of a single mother. This sounds like something from the 80s when Conservatives spoke as if we had no right to exist.

“I think families should do the right thing for them and for some families that means the best thing is for parents not to stay together.

“We have families with two mothers, two fathers, single dads and single mums.

“All of these families are valid, and the most important thing is that people are in families that love each other.”

One woman Tweeted in response to Kruger: "Hi Danny Kruger, one of your “non-normative” constituents here. What would we do without you normal folk holding society together for us deviants? My wife, our children and I are forever grateful for the wonderful example you set us."

Senior associate editor at the New Statesman magazine Rachel Cunliffe was also part of the online backlash against Mr Kruger.

She said: “If you want people to have and value families, maybe don’t spent quite so much time saying you think their version of family is inferior or wrong? Because, you know, that’s not the way to convince anyone. They might just think you’re a bit… well, you know… judgemental.”

The conference is a project of the Edmund Burke Foundation, a Washington DC “public affairs institute” which has held conferences across Europe and America since to promote the ideas of national conservatism.

Mr Kruger was approached for comment on the criticism.