Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has said gay couples will never be permitted to marry.

Speaking at a Catholic conference in Milan, he said: “Gays will never have marriages equal to traditional family values because there is only one family.”

He added: “This government will not allow singles or gays to adopt.”

The 74-year-old leader told the conference he would not resign, despite his own moral troubles.

He has been charged with having sex with an underage prostitute and will go on trial in April.

Police say that Karima El Mahroug, who was 17 at the time, was a guest at one of Mr Berlusconi’s ‘bunga bunga’ parties.

There are also claims that he paid for dancers’ plastic surgeries.

The Italian leader is currently on trial for tax fraud.

Last year, Mr Berlusconi angered gay groups by saying: “I have a gruelling work schedule and if I happen to look pretty girls in the face now and then, well then, it’s better to be a fan of pretty women than to be gay.”