Lord Ken Maginnis, the former Ulster Unionist MP, who previously referred to same-sex marriage as “unnatural and deviant behaviour” has dismissed his nomination for Stonewall’s “Bigot of the Year” award.

It comes after Alan Craig, the leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance Party and a former councillor for the London Borough of Newham, also criticised the charity for his nomination – although hinted that he was prepared to attend the ceremony, if successful in winning the title.

Last week, Stonewall unveiled this year’s shortlist as part of its annual awards ceremony, which is taking place on 1 November at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

According to the Belfast News Letter, the Gay UK magazine contacted Lord Maginnis to inform him of the news, and was told by the peer: “While I have never heard of ‘Stonewall’ I should perhaps assume from the tone of it that your email is intended to convey some sort of intimidation and threat.”

The magazine’s editor, who had asked the peer a series of questions about the nomination with a view to writing a report, was told by Lord Maginnis: “I’m hardly likely to be impressed by what you’ve sent me.”

Lord Maginnis added that more people should know of the “aggressive type of behaviour” that emanates from “perverse pressure groups”, and their “corrupting influence on susceptible and vulnerable young people.”

In August of this year, Lord Maginnis left the Ulster Unionist Party having previously described homosexuality as a “disease” and that equal marriage would be a “rung on the ladder” towards bestiality.