An LGBT Conservative group has called for the Tory MEP who said homophobia does not exist to be officially reprimanded.

Roger Helmer, the MEP for East Midlands, made the comments on his blog several weeks ago.

He wrote: “‘Homophobia’ is merely a propaganda device designed to denigrate and stigmatise those holding conventional opinions, which have been held by most people through most of recorded history.”

He added that he did not believe in gay marriage, yet assured his readers he was “liberal and tolerant”.

Matthew Sephton, chairman of LGBTory, said his words were “sheer lunacy”.

Sephton added: “To suggest that homophobia is not a real and everyday experience of many LGBT people in Britain and the world today is sheer lunacy. I am sure that Michael Causer’s family for one would certainly attest to that.

“Roger Helmer is wrong in what he said and should be officially reprimanded by the party for these words and for the sentiments that lie behind them and which, aside from anything else, amount to a betrayal of the fundamental Conservative ideals of equal opportunity to all individuals, without exception.”

A Tory source told PinkNews.co.uk: “Roger’s comments were taken out of context but they don’t represent the views of the Conservative Party.”