Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips says she received death threats from gay people after writing that a “ruthless gay lobby” is “brainwashing children”.

In a column last week on plans to make lessons more inclusive of gay people, Ms Phillips said they were an “abuse of childhood”, part of a campaign to “destroy normal sexual behaviour” and that gay people are “the new McCarthyites” .

She also implied that homosexuality would become “mandatory” and that the “ruthless gay lobby” was trying to silence dissent.

Today, she claimed that her point had been proved by the ­”extraordinarily vicious outpouring of hate” she had received.

She wrote: “One week ago, I ­suggested on this page that some gay people were in danger of turning into the new McCarthyites by demonising and attempting to silence all who disagreed with the gay rights agenda.

“Given the point I was making, it followed that I was expecting a reaction which would amply bear out the truth of what I had written. The response, ­however, exceeded even my ­expectations.

“For during the past seven days, I have been ­subjected to an ­extraordinarily vicious outpouring of hate and incitement to violence, via email, the internet and in the mainstream media, and much worse besides.”

In her original article, Ms Phillips voiced her support for a new government drug advisor who linked the “destructive gay lifestyle” to paedophilia and Christian B&B owners who bar gay couples.

Today, she wrote: “The response to this warning against an attempt by the gay lobby to silence dissent? An eruption of tweets on Twitter suggesting that I should be killed. Yes, really.”

Last week, gay Independent columnist Johann Hari responded to Ms Phillips’ article, saying that the plans would make gay children feel safe and help stop anti-gay bullying.

He wrote: “Melanie Phillips, Richard Drax and the last raging band of homophobes are right about one thing. There is a ‘Gay Agenda’. They are only wrong about its contents.

“It has one item on the list, and one item only: to ensure that gay people are treated exactly the same as everybody else. That’s it. That’s all.”