Peter Robinson has defended his wife’s description of homosexuality as “an abomination.”

As First Minister of Northern Ireland, the DUP leader is head of the province’s devolved government.

In an interview with BBC Northern Ireland he said:

“It wasn’t Iris Robinson who determined that homosexuality was an abomination, it was the Almighty.

“This is the Scriptures and it is a strange world indeed where somebody on the one hand talks about equality, but won’t allow Christians to have the equality, the right to speak, the right to express their views.”

The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister is tasked with ensuring equality for gay people in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Robinson, the MP and MLA for Strangford and chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly health committee, has been at the centre of controversy since June, when she said in a radio interview about a homophobic assault that the victim could be “cured” of his homosexuality.

She cited the work of her adviser, psychiatrist Dr Paul Miller, as an example.

She said: “I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals trying to turn away from what they are engaged in.

“I am happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman and I have met people who have turned around to become heterosexual.”

Dr Miller has since resigned as her adviser.

Mrs Robinson caused further uproar in July, when it has emerged that during committee proceedings in the Commons last month, she told MPs:

“There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children.”

In July she claimed she is the victim of an anti-Christian witchunt, and later clarified her stance.

“Over the past few weeks, some people have attempted to suggest that I indicated that homosexuality is a mental-health issue, and they have twisted everything that was said on Stephen Nolan’s radio show,” she said in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“I have got broad shoulders, and can take the brickbats that followed from that. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Homosexuality, like all sin, is an abomination.”

Mr Robinson succceded Ian Paisley as DUP leader and First Minister in June, after 28 years as deputy leader.