Atheist writer Christopher Hitchens has revealed he had several gay liaisons at Oxford with men who later became Tory politicians.

Hitchens, 60, studied at Oxford in the 1960s, where he became known as a radical.

In extracts of his forthcoming autobiography, Hitch-22, published in the Sunday Times, he wrote that although he liked women, he occasionally had “relapses” with future members of Margaret Thatcher’s government.

He wrote: “Every now and then, even though I was by then fixed on the pursuit of young women, a mild and mildly enjoyable relapse would occur and I suppose that I can ‘claim’ this … of two young men who later became members of Margaret Thatcher’s government.

“For this very reason I can’t really give any more names.”

Hitchens is married with two children and has long been an advocate for gay rights.