The British National Party has denied being homophobic and sexist, following a Trades Union Congress decision to recognise it as such.

Delegates at the TUC’s annual conference also decided to campaign for a ban on BNP members working in the public sector in professions such as teaching and the civil service.

The party bars black and Asian people from becoming members, although it is currently debating whether to lift this ban in the face of costly legal action.

Along with its views on race, the party also believes homosexuality should be kept behind closed doors and should not be “promoted”.

On the issue of women’s equality, BNP legal director Lee Barnes last month launched a tirade on his blog about modern women, claiming they are “self loathing”, “sexless” and “androgynous” monstrosities.

He added that “breastless” women mock the “female nourishing form that gave . . . our race its life.”

The party also believes current laws on rape, divorce and abortion discriminate against men and says it aims to redress the balance.

This week, the TUC annual conference approved a motion which called for the encouragement of affiliate groups to point out that the BNP is “homophobic and sexist” in any literature about the party.

It also pledged to work with Unite Against Fascism, Searchlight and other organisations to “expose BNP homophobia and sexism”.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, BNP spokesman Simon Darby denied the party was anti-gay.

He said: “That’s not true, we’re not homophobic. We couldn’t care less about people’s sexuality, it’s a private matter.

“If people are over 18 years old it’s a private matter what they get up to in their bedrooms.

“But young children should not be exposed to [teaching about] homosexuality. We don’t think it’s something that five-year-olds should learn about it, which they currently are.”

On the accusations of sexism, Darby said: “We do believe in the concept of being a good mother and although young women are encouraged to go and have careers, they are not encouraged to be good mothers.

“I suppose the one thing where people could accuse us of sexism is that we don’t really agree with sending women into the frontlines of battle. It’s not a sign of a civilised society when you have women fighting your wars.”

Darby also set out the party’s views on gay adoption and the legal recognition of gay relationships.

On gay adoption, he said: “We believe we have natural views, rather than conservative ones, on parenting. We believe a healthy childhood should have a mother and a father.

He added: “There is scope for longstanding [gay] partners to be recognised, so long as it doesn’t undermine the sanctity of marriage.”

Darby also claimed that activists such as Peter Tatchell were doing gays “a great disservice” and said the gay community was more concerned about the “spread of Islam” than BNP policies.

In May, PinkNews.co.uk exclusively reported that the BNP had drawn up a list of politicians from all three main parties describing a number of gay MPs as “buggers” and “criminals”, grouping them with convicted paedophiles.