Just hours after reports that a UKIP candidate spoke out saying he believed gay people should not be allowed to adopt, he has gone one step further, to say that same-sex adoption is the same as “child abuse”.

Winston McKenzie, the UK Independence Party’s Culture Spokesperson and candidate for the Croydon North By-election, as well as former X Factor hopeful, already said that he believed gay people should not be allowed to adopt children.

In an interview with the Metro newspaper, the ex-boxer has now equated same-sex couples adopting a child to child abuse. He said:

“‘I am having you adopted by two men who kiss regularly but don’t worry about it’ – that is abuse. It is a violation of a child’s human rights because that child has no opportunity to grow up under normal circumstances.”

Mr McKenzie said that same-sex adoption when against his Christian beliefs, and attacked some celebrities, saying that they had come out as gay “as a fashion”. He continued:

“There are people out there who bring up their kids encouraging them to believe they are gay themselves.”

A Twitter account titled ‘Vote Winston’ engaged with a Twitter user, who questioned reports that his campaign for Croydon North was going well. Vote Winston tweeted:

“UKIP Winston supports all, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, regardless of religion.” Twitter user, Elaine Hewlett replied:

“Unless the gay people want to get married or adopt of course. He won’t be supporting them much in Parliament!”

The party was seen to have been attempting to distance itself from the perception that it is against same-sex adoption, as David Coburn, the party’s London chair made a statement:

“We entirely, wholeheartedly support equal rights for couples regardless of their sexuality.”

UKIP supports civil partnerships, but remains opposed to equal marriage.

Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of Stonewall, commented on the issue, saying: “These 19th-century views are not acceptable in the 21st century.”

Openly gay LBC 97.3 presenter Iain Dale reacted to PinkNews.co.uk’s coverage by Tweeting: “Winston McKenzie was a dick when I interviewed him in 2007 when he was a Tory. He’s now a bigoted dick.”

Mr McKenzie, a youth worker, was born in Jamaica and is a former boxer.

In 2005, he unsuccessfully auditioned for the X Factor and has previously been a member of Labour and the Liberal Democrats.