It is a tradition in British politics that when it comes to difficult, moral issues political parties usually allow their MPs a free vote. This makes it strange then that Gordon Brown won't allow a free vote for next weeks Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill.
It is rumoured that one Cabinet Minister, Paul Murphy, the Welsh Secretary, is ready to resign if he is denied a free vote while Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary, is another Minister who is rumoured to have reservations and wants to abstain.
The bill would allow medical research to be carried out on human-animal embryos that could help combat life-threatening diseases.
It would be an open goal for the Tories if the PM allowed his Cabinet to become publicly divided on the issue and worse if one of its members actually resigned.
He should allow a free vote on the Bill and avoid giving the opposition the chance to portray the government as weak and divided.