Daily Mail journalist Melanie Phillips is to speak at a gay networking event later this month in London.

The columnist was invited to speak by Village Drinks.

She is a well-known political commentator, addressing a wide range of issues such as education, morality and multiculturalism. She won the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996.

In the past, she has criticised gay adoption and accused gay rights activists of intolerance towards Christians.

Following David Cameron’s apology for Section 28 earlier this year, she argued that the gay rights agenda undermines marriage and has called homosexuality a “lifestyle choice”.

Phillips says she is not homophobic and believes that sexual orientation is a private issue that should not be in the public sphere.

She told PinkNews.co.uk: “I was delighted to accept this generous invitation from Village Drinks, and look forward to an interesting discussion.”

The columnist is to give a talk about the current political climate and answer questions from the audience.

Previous speakers at Village Drinks events have included culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, former MP Chris Smith and Tory MP Alan Duncan, all of whom are openly gay.

A Village Drinks spokesman said: “There is huge demand showing for this event.

“Our speaker invites – including this one – are driven by suggestions from our members.

“Our first priority is to offer members of the gay community the chance to meet and question very high profile commentators, like Melanie, whose views are often controversial or of interest.

“We have not invited Melanie to speak on gay issues but all guests will of course be very welcome to question her on these areas if they wish. We are delighted to be giving them that opportunity.

“Melanie is not being paid to attend.”

The event will be held on Wednesday September 23rd at Envy in Soho. Tickets are available from villagedrinks.co.uk/gay_events_145.htm