The Queen’s composer has attacked “gay-bashing fundamentalists” in the Church of England for refusing to allow civil partnerships.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, 76, hit out at clerics for refusing to officiate gay couples’ ceremonies.

The composer, who lives with his boyfriend on Sanday in the Orkney Islands, said: “The Church of England has still got so many gay-bashing fundamentalists in it, clerical gay-bashing thugs, I really don’t understand why people want to have [anything] to do with it.

“I wouldn”t have anything to do with the church – they have such history of anti-gay nonsense.”

The Queen is the supreme governor of the Church of England but Mr Maxwell Davies said he was not concerned that his remarks would offend her.

He said his sexuality was “not an issue” for the royal family and that the Queen and Prince Philip were “always extremely welcoming” to him and his boyfriend.

“I think they are just interested in having a decent master of music,” he said.

Mr Maxwell Davies has been the Master of Music since 2004.

Ministers announced last week that civil partnerships will be permitted in church.

When legalised in 2005, they were explicitly banned from including any religious symbolism or being held in religious buildings.

While the Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Jews say they will hold ceremonies for gay couples, the Catholic Church and Church of England will not.