Westlife singer Mark Feehily has heaped praise on the Civil Partnership Act in the UK, but the gay band member, who came out at the end of last year, insisted he had no plans to get married.

In an exclusive web chat on the Sun website, he revealed it was not too difficult to come out,

“When you get to the point of feeling OK about doing it, it’s just a case of finding a few minutes to actually say the words. Getting to that place was hard, but once I got there I had absolutely no problem.”

“Once you come out, it makes your life a lot better and easier.”

He told fans he didn’t intend to get married but it’s nice to know he can in this country, he said: “I don’t see any reason why people in same-sex relationships can’t celebrate and make a statement of their love.”

“I don’t know the full details of the new law, but I do know it’s better in terms of things like inheritance – and again there’s no reason why a gay couple shouldn’t have exactly the same rights as a straight couple.”

Meanwhile, Mr Feehily’s band members said they knew he was gay, Shane Filan said: “I think we all knew Mark was gay, but it was up to him to tell us himself.”

“We travel so much together that we’re like family. I know more about the boys individually and personally than I do my own brothers.”

Mr Feehily is currently in a long term relationship with former V band member Kevin McDaid.