Former Republican Senator for Wyoming, Alan Simpson, has hit out at anti-gay politicians in his party.

During an interview with MSNBC’s Hardball programme, he said men shouldn’t be allowed to vote on abortion and called homophobes ‘disgusting”.

Mr Simpson said: “Who the hell is for abortion? I don’t know anybody running around with a sign that says ‘have an abortion, they’re wonderful.’ They’re hideous.

“But they’re a deeply intimate and personal decision and I don’t think men legislators should even vote on the issue.”

He continued: “Then you’ve got homosexuality — you’ve got ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.

“We’ve got homophobes in our party. That’s disgusting to me. We’re all human beings, we’re all God’s children.”

The former Senator then criticised former senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum for saying “some cruel things – cruel, cruel things about homosexuals.”

“If that’s the kind of guys that are going to be on my ticket,” he said, “you know, it makes you sort out hard what Reagan said, ‘stick with your folks,’ but I’m not sticking with people who are homophobic, anti-women — moral values, while you’re diddling your secretary, while you’re giving a speech on moral values. Come on, get off of it.”

Think Progress, which first highlighted the interview, pointed out that Mr Simpson could have been referring to several anti-gay Republican politicians, including Newt Gingrich and Mick Huckabee.