The young politician suspended for allegedly posting pictures of himself on a “pornographic” website claims he was set up.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk today, Reace Mcdonnell said he believed someone was trying to damage his reputation.

The openly gay 19-year-old, a deputy member of the Youth Parliament, was suspended earlier this month after a newspaper reported that there were images of him on porn websites.

The Plymouth Herald quoted an unnamed mother of a gay child who complained that Mr Mcdonnell was a bad role model.

The Youth Parliament then suspended him, citing “the safety of all the young people we work with”.

However, the A Level student says he has not seen the photos in question and believes he has been set up by someone out to damage his reputation.

He also criticised the Youth Parliament for failing to protect him and said he was worried that the publicity would damage his chances of getting into university.

Mr Mcdonnell was particularly concerned at the statement put out by the Youth Parliament, which he said suggested he was a danger to children.

The Plymouth Herald would not comment today and the Youth Parliament said no one was available to talk about Mr Mcdonnell’s suspension.

The images have not been seen by PinkNews.co.uk and it is not clear which websites they were said to have been on.

The student said that while he may have posted topless photos of himself on a gay networking site, he was not aware of any explicit images of himself.

He said he believed that someone had maliciously posted images of him online and then contacted the Herald pretending to be a concerned parent.

He said: “I have my suspicions as to who it was but I don’t want to say as I haven’t got any proof.”

Mr Mcdonnell says the Youth Parliament contacted him a week and a half ago to tell him that there was media interest in him and that he was being suspended while the claims were investigated.

Andy Hamflett, chief executive of the UK Youth Parliament, told the Herald: “Our primary concern is for the safety of all the young people we work with and we are taking these allegations very seriously.

“The young person in question has been suspended whilst the matter is investigated.”

Mr Mcdonnell said: “I suppose they thought that they can’t be seen to support me.

“They said it was a matter of ‘child protection’ – but I’m 19. They were implying that I was somehow a danger to children.”

He said that there was “definitely a homophobic undertone” to the incident.

“I don’t think that if I had been straight, it would have been in the paper,” he said.

Mr Mcdonnell said he was angry at the Youth Parliament for failing to support him.

He said: “The Herald called me [for a comment] but the Youth Parliament told me not to talk to them. I get the feeling that they were more concerned about looking after themselves than acting in my best interests.”

“I don’t think they will clear my name now because my term as a deputy Youth Parliament member comes to an end in January.”

He said that the Youth Parliament has contacted him to say it is treating the incident as a case of homophobic bullying against him, but questioned why he had not been given more support.

“My main concern is that I applied to uni last week but this might affect my application,” he said.

“All my positive work has been pushed down on Google and this is now at the top. I’m really upset.”