Ex-Westlife singer Brian McFadden has caused a furore In New Zealand by stating that heterosexual men should not wear pink.

The former boyband star said on an Auckland radio breakfast show that “if you are not gay, a man should not be wearing pink.

“Saying pink is a form of red is the same as saying homosexual is a form of male,” he added.

Gay rights advocates claim that the comment was homophobic.

Robert Marshall is the co-ordinator of Rainbow Youth, an organisation that provides support and advocacy for young LGBT people in New Zealand.

He said: “It’s the sort of stuff that gets said every day in the schoolyard.

“A lot of young people are quite impressionable, and when they see celebrities saying stuff like that, they think it’s OK to say it themselves.

“It’s always unacceptable to put people down based on their sexuality – it’s just like putting down people because of their race – judging people just because they’re a little bit different from you.”