Anti-gay Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was covered in glitter by a gay rights campaigner at a book signing yesterday.

Mr Gingrich and his wife Callista were in Minnesota for a dinner with the Minnesota Family Council when protester Nick Espinosa struck.

As he emptied the box of rainbow glitter over the couple’s heads, Mr Espinosa said: “Feel the rainbow, Newt. Stop the hate. Stop anti-gay politics. It’s dividing our country and it’s not fixing our economy.”

According to Sky News, Mr Gingrich smiled and replied: “Nice to live in a free country.”

Mr Gingrich is a strong supporter of California’s gay marriage ban and has declared that America suffers from “gay and secular fascism”.”

In 2008, he told Fox News: “There is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it.”

Last year, Mr Espinosa targeted Republican gubernational candidate Tom Emner for his views on immigration. Mr Emner, who stood for Minnesota, had 2,000 pennies poured over him.

Speaking to ABC News last night, he explained why he covered Mr Gingrich in glitter.

“I think glitter’s fun,” he said. “I think it was a nice makeover for his campaign. And in fact if he needs anymore glitter, I have some left over.”