The Australian senator who was sacked as an aide to the country's opposition leader for linking homosexuality to bestiality is due to attend an event for young British Conservatives this weekend.
Speaking during a debate on gay marriage in the Australian Senate on Tuesday, Liberal Cory Bernardi said allowing same-sex couples to marry would be a step on the road to allowing people to have sex with animals.
"The next step," he said. "Is having three people that love each other be able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society, or four people.
"There are even some creepy people out there, who say that it's OK to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?”
He was forced to quit his job working for Tony Abbott after having a “forthright" discussion with the Liberal Party leader. "I swiftly concluded that was one mistake too many," Abbott said.
Australian media reported today that Senator Bernardi boarded a flight to Britain this morning in order to attend the 'European Young Conservative Freedom Summit' in Oxford.
The Conservative Party sought to distance itself from Bernardi on Wednesday afternoon, pointing out that it had no say in who attended the Oxford meeting.
"We haven’t organised this event, and are not in control of who attends," the party said in a statement. "We strongly condemn Mr Bernardi’s comments, which do not reflect David Cameron’s or the Conservative Party’s viewpoint in any way."
Bernardi's visit comes ahead of the annual Tory conference in Birmingham, where right-wing members of his own party are likely to voice concerns about his plan to legislate for gay marriage.
Former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe is due to host a anti-gay marriage event in the city's town hall in order to pressure the prime minister to drop the plans.Suggest a correction