Tory leader David Cameron has been criticised for denying he had ever voted against allowing gay couples to adopt.

In an interview with Attitude magazine last week, Mr Cameron was asked about records which showed he voted to restrict marriage to married couples and bar gay couples from adopting children in 2002.

Mr Cameron told interviewer Johann Hari: “No… we were three-line-whipped on that vote and I abstained on it.”

When his votes, recorded in Hansard, were pointed out, he said his “memory” is that he abstained, adding he now believed that “the ideal adoption is finding a mum and a dad, but there will be occasions when gay couples make very good adoptive parents. So I support gay adoption”.

Labour minister Chris Bryant, who is gay, accused Cameron of “airbrushing his memory”.

Mr Bryant said: “David Cameron seems to have airbrushed his own memory, but for us the record is absolutely clear.

“He says he doesn’t ally himself with people with homophobic views in the European Parliament, but he does. And he says he didn’t vote against gay adoption, but he did. Twice.”

In 2005, Mr Cameron was questioned by Sky News political editor Adam Boulton about his voting record

In the exchange, Mr Bolton pressed the Tory leader to admit he had twice voted against gay couples adopting.

Mr Cameron continued to deny he had voted, saying: “I abstained on the three line whip, Adam. I haven’t been through Hansard.”

The Conservative Party had not responded to requests for comment by the time of publication.