POLITICS

Ukip MEP Roger Helmer Denies Saying 'It's Ok For People To Despise Homosexuals, Like They Do Certain Types Of Tea'

29/04/2014 15:26 BST | Updated 30/04/2014 09:59 BST

A Ukip MEP has denied saying homophobia was acceptable after he was quoted saying people "should be able to despise gay people just like they do certain types of tea".

The Sun (£) reported Roger Helmer had said: "Some people may have views that some people disagree with. Different people have different tastes.

“Different people may have different tastes. You may tell me that you don’t like Earl Grey tea. That may be a minority view but you are entitled not to like it if you don’t like it.”

But the MEP has responded saying his remarks did not support The Sun's reporting of it.

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MEP Roger Helmer said he 'simply made the point people are entitled to their views'

Writing on his website, the former Tory said: "It (The Sun) claimed that I had said 'It’s fine to despise gay people', that 'being gay is a mental health issue', and that I had suggested that 'homophobia is OK'. None of these propositions is true, or remotely relates to my views."

He added he had been driving when The Sun journalist rang him and he was "concentrating, at least in part, on the traffic".

He wrote: "In the course of a short conversation, I simply made the point that people were entitled to their personal preferences. It is morally acceptable to prefer heterosexuality over homosexuality, or vice versa. Most of us prefer one or the other."

He continued: "UKIP supporters will recognise the principle at work here: the mainstream media are engaged in a feeding frenzy against UKIP, and are prepared to twist the facts to suit their agenda. It seems that prejudice and hostility are alive and well at the Sun."