Shadow foreign secretary William Hague has insisted that Chris Grayling will not try to change the law to allow bed and breakfast owners to discriminate against gay couples.

Mr Hague said yesterday on BBC Radio 4 that Mr Grayling would remain shadow home secretary after he was secretly taped disagreeing with an equality law he voted for.

He told a meeting last week: “I personally always took the view that. . . if it’s a question of somebody who’s doing a B&B in their own home, that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn’t come into their own home.”

Mr Grayling was referring to the case of Christian couple Mike and Susanne Wilkinson, who refused to let a gay male couple stay in their Berkshire B&B.

He later said that people should be “sensitive” to faith groups but was satisfied with the current laws.

Mr Hague said yesterday: “He supported the law then and he supports the law now and he will support it in future. He’s made clear that he’s not looking for a change to the law.”

He added that Mr Grayling had explained his remarks to colleagues and said: “I know him as a very valued colleague.”