The Church of England has attacked the Government's lack of consultation over its gay marriage plans.

Senior ecclesiastical figures learned of the Governments plans only when Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced them to Parliament.

Mrs Miller told the House of Commons on Tuesday she was putting in place a "quadruple lock" of measures to guarantee religious organisations would not have to marry same-sex couples against their wishes.

The Guardian reported that the Reverand Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester and the Church of England's lead spokesman in the Lords, told a private meeting of church and political figures there had been a lack of consultation.