The UK Government is seeking to distance itself from Northern Ireland Attorney General John Larkin’s decision to intervene in a European court case involving gay adoption laws.

Earlier this year, John Larkin QC had argued that Northern Ireland’s ban on same-sex adoption for those in civil partnerships should remain in place, and that the Stormont Assembly should decide if it wants to change the law.

He had also written to the European court and suggested that Northern Ireland and other EU countries should be allowed to opt-out of providing gay couples with adoption rights.

However, that position was undermined earlier this month when the country’s High Court in Belfast overturned the ban preventing gay couples in civil partnerships from adopting.

Northern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots is now seeking to appeal the ruling.

In a swipe at Mr Larkin’s position the Advocate General for Scotland, Lord Wallace, said the UK government had not approved the terms of his intervention and said it did not represent the views of the UK Government.