Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said his party needs to lead by example in promoting diversity by including more gay people, women, disabled people, and ethnic minorities among its MPs.

Speaking on Saturday at the spring conference of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Mr Clegg admitted his party was not representative in its membership.

“This party is too male and that needs to change,” he said. “We need more Liberal Democrat role models for black and Asian boys and girls, for disabled boys and girls and for young gay men and women too.

“We must be a more diverse party. And we will be a better party for it,” he stated.

Of 56 Liberal Democrat MPs only seven are women.

Earlier this week Mr Clegg strongly denied David Cameron’s claim that “we are all Thatcherites now”, and cited Section 28 as one of the things former prime minister Margaret Thatcher got wrong.

Prime Minister David Cameron, made the remark to the BBC ahead of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, going on to claim that she had been proved right on social issues, as well as economic.

“I think in a way we are all Thatcherites now,” he said. “One of the things about her legacy is some of those big arguments we had everyone now accepts.”

Yesterday Lord Browne, the former Chief Executive of BP, spoke out about a current lack of acceptance of diversity in the world of business, and said that for years he was scared to come out as gay.