The MP for Wellingborough in Northamptonshire has suggested the Church of England reply to the government’s consultation on equal marriage on the basis that it is ‘completely nuts’.

Tory Peter Bone MP made the comment during Commons questions on the issue of gay marriages in religious institutions.

AP reports that after fellow MP Tony Baldry said the Church of England would have “detailed submissions” for a consultation on the matter, though the government has only announced a consultation on civil marriage.

Baldry said: “So far as the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church and many other faith groups are concerned, marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

“That is the point we are putting forward responsibly and clearly in the consultation paper.”

Bone, who is one of the Commons’ more active contributors, said: “Wouldn’t it just be very simple to write back and say, ‘Marriage is between a man and a woman so this is completely nuts’?”

Bone voted against the regulations which secured equality for gays in the provision of goods and services in 2007 and was in favour of requiring a male figure before IVF treatment could be given to a woman.

In 1995, the Daily Mirror famously dubbed Bone, who opposed minimum wage regulations, the “meanest boss” in the country for paying a 17-year-old 87p an hour.

Bone said he would not have been able to hire her had a minimum wage law been in place and predicted at the time that such a rule would leave “hundreds of thousands” of people “condemned to the dole queue”.