A Tory councillor who called gays “sexual deviants” has defended his views and denied being homophobic.

In an article he wrote for the Duffield Scene newsletter, Patrick Clark said: “I object to being required to embrace an agenda that actively supports and positively discriminates in favour of people who I consider to be sexual deviants and who engage in practices contrary to my religious beliefs.”

Mr Clark, the former deputy Conservative group leader for Derbyshire County Council, was suspended from his post as a county councillor for Duffield and Belper South last week at a group meeting.

He told the Derby Telegraph: “The term deviant just means different, it was not derogatory.
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“I do not have any problem with homosexuals. I don’t agree with what they do but I accept they exist and respect their right to exist. I’m not a homophobic in that sense. What I do take issue with is the use of public money and resources to make a special case out of these people.”

According to one television report, he had made his comments in light of Conservative MP Alan Duncan’s civil partnership.

Mr Clark said: “I was saddened that the group chose to believe what was produced on a news item rather than believe me. They did not contact me. I was not even aware that Alan Duncan had made a civil marriage.”

While announcing his suspension on Wednesday, the part said there was “no room for the kind of views expressed by Councillor Clark”.

Mr Clark had already announced he would not be standing for re-election this summer.