A gay rights spokesman thought he was giving an impromptu political interview to eager reporters but ended up becoming one of the victims of a drug test prank for prime-time television this week, which has caused outcry in the Italian Parliament.

Franco Grillini was one of 50 Italian politicians fooled by the prank which the programme Le Iene claims found 12 positive tests for cannabis and four for cocaine after secretly tested them for drugs when being asked to give an interview on the 2007 budget.

A tester masquerading as a make up lady took swabs of their sweat to test for any illegal substances.

Mr Grillini, a member of the Party of the Democratic Left, was not one of the positive tests, he said he has done drugs in the past but not anymore, he told The Times: “I had only had half a bottle of Chianti, I’ve done drugs in the past, but now my preferred drugs are good wine and sex.”

Media regulators have since said the show must be withdrawn prompting accusations of censorship.

Politicians have also been thrown into a debate on drug use in the country.