David Cameron did not mention gay people in his speech this morning, despite pre-published extracts which suggested he would.

The Conservative Party leader made a speech this morning to kick-start his election campaign.

According to the published version of the speech, he was due to say: “We’re fighting this election for the Great Ignored – young, old, rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight.

“They start businesses, operate factories, teach our children, clean the streets, grow our food and keep us healthy – keep us safe. They work hard, pay their taxes, obey the law.”

But what he actually said was: “Let me tell you who I’m fighting the election for. It’s for the people I call the great ignored. They may be black or white, rich or poor, they may live in the town or country. They work hard. They set up businesses, they set up factories, they teach our children they keep our streets safe. They obey the law, they pay the taxes. They do the right thing. they are the honest hard working people in the country.”

In an echo of his 2007 leadership speech, Mr Cameron spoke without an autocue, which may have meant he mis-spoke.

A Conservative Party spokesman said the party was “committed to equality” and that Mr Cameron would “definitely” be mentioning gay people in his other remarks throughout the day, including a large rally in Leeds tonight.

The spokesman added: “We feel very clearly that gay voters are among those who have been ignored by Labour.”

The Tory party suffered a setback in its attempts to woo gay voters this weekend, when shadow home secretary Chris Grayling was secretly filmed saying he agreed that bed and breakfast owners should be allowed to bar gay couples from staying in their homes.

Following anger over the remarks, a PinkNews.co.uk poll found that gay support for the party dropped over the weekend.

Mr Cameron’s speech came as prime minister Gordon Brown called the election today and announced that the polling date would be May 6th.

He named the day after visiting Buckingham Palace, where he formally asked the Queen to dissolve parliament.

Mr Brown admitted that the election date had been “probably the worst-kept secret of recent years”.

He said: “Over the next few weeks I will go round the country – the length and breadth of our land – and I will take to the people a very straightforward and clear message – Britain is on the road to recovery and nothing we do should put that recovery at risk.”

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said that the election would not be a “two-horse race”.

He attacked Mr Brown, saying he was “directly responsible for so many things that have gone wrong in the last 13 years”.