Simon Callow has described the government’s decision to ban the Church of England from conducting same-sex marriages as “a bit bewildering” and a “sort of medieval idea”.

He was asked on the Daily Politics on BBC2 about the plans which would specifically outlaw marriage ceremonies for gay couples in the Church of England and the Church in Wales.

The decision has already been criticised by equality campaigners along with the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan.

Callow said: “to marry somebody in a church would be a criminal act is an astonishing sort of medieval idea. I’m bewildered by it frankly”.

When asked whether he was under the impression before the statement in the Commons yesterday, that the government plans would allow marriage in the Church of England he said it was “carefully unclear” and that “it is one little more symbol of yes but not absolute equality”.

He told presenter Jo Coburn that “I don’t have the ambition to be married in a church, but it seems to me, that there must be many Church of England ministers, infact I know some of them, who are strongly in favour of gay marriage”.