A Christian Tory councillor in Buckinghamshire has been suspended for comparing gay marriage to bestiality.

Following prime minister David Cameron’s public backing for marriage equality, Wycombe district councillor James Malliff tweeted: “There is no doubt the PM is wrong on this issue. We may as well legalise marriage with animals, crude I concede but no apology.”

He was responding to a message former Tory MP Paul Goodman, who tweeted that the move could led to recognition of polygamy.

Mr Malliff later deleted the tweet and apologised.

He said: “I was not intending to be offensive. It was much more a comment to try to establish where we draw the line on these things.

“My comment (on Twitter) was there is no doubt the PM has got this wrong and you may as well legalise marriage with animals.

“It sounds terrible now but it was not meant to be anti-gay. I am not anti-gay and I respect people’s views on this issue.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, a Conservative Party spokesman said: “These comments are completely unacceptable. Councillor Malliff’s local party association has suspended him with immediate effect.”

Gay rights group Stonewall said: “We warmly welcome the decision of the Conservative Party to suspend Councillor Malliff.

“It’s extraordinary in 2011 that he is prepared to insult so many of his council taxpayers in this way.”