Conservative chairman Francis Maude has defended the party’s “A list” of parliamentary candidates which includes gay Conservatives who will receive priority treatment in the selection process to represent winnable seats during the next General Election.

Mr Maude insisted the list of parliamentary candidates was not aimed at imposing “mincing metrosexuals” on local constituencies.

He condemned people who were spreading “ridiculous caricatures” of the new list, in an interview with ToryRadio, a podcast that is independent of the party. However, he recognised there would be some “resistance” to the names such as former soap star and gay icon Adam Rickitt.

Mr Maude said: “The idea that what we’re actually trying to do is insert mincing metrosexuals into gritty northern marginal seats is complete rubbish.”

Lesbian businesswoman and vice chairman of the party, Margot James, is also on the list.

His remarks came after residents of the Bromley and Chislehurst seat of the late Eric Forth, who died last week, vowed to resist a Cameron “crony” in the upcoming byelection.

Peter Avis, an activist in the area, told the Sunday Telegraph “We need a traditional man like him that has good values. There would be a real problem if we had a gay person taking over the mantle of Eric Forth.”

Mr Maude will make a key note speech at the launch of the PinkNews, the magazine spin off from the team behind PinkNews.co.uk.