The Principal of Newham College, Denise Brown-Sackey, has stepped aside from her post following revelations that a senior lecturer compared gay teachers to the Ku Klux Klan.

Dr Mark Walcott, head of performing arts at Newham College in east London and a part-time psychotherapist, has been suspended after he was secretly recorded making homophobic comments.

Dr Walcott admitted being prejudiced and said the gay community was like the “Ku Klux Klan, the Freemasons and the Nazis” who all wanted to boost their “memberships” by “indoctrinating people”.

He said: “I have prejudices about people who are homosexual and are grooming my children and other people’s children into homosexuality when they didn’t actually choose it.

“Gay people’s objectives [are] not just to have lots of gay sex, but also to increase the gay community. Gayism or any sexual preference is subliminally taught and auto-suggestive.”

He is heard on the recording saying: “I’ll give the name of someone I’d never have run a school: Elton John. His gayism is so liberal.

He added later: “I don’t like him. His sexuality, his gayism is over-burdensome.”

Dr Walcott also believes gay teachers’ sexuality can stop them doing their jobs properly, and that he’s asked gay teachers to leave schools before.

The recording was made by another staff member who reported them to Newham College in April 2012.

But as recently as last month, Dr Wallcot was still employed at the college, despite a previous 8-month internal investigation.

In a new statement on Thursday, Newham College confirmed that its principal, Denise Brown-Sackey, had stepped aside pending a full independent investigation.

“In light of recent events concerning an online recording expressing views which do not reflect the values of Newham College, and in the best interests of the College, the Board of Governors has agreed with the Principal, Denise Brown-Sackey, that she will take a leave of absence, pending an independent investigation into recent allegations.

“Newham College’s focus remains unwaveringly on its learners. We are proud of our reputation as a leading college and a fair employer, not least as the only FE College in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index top 100, and will continue to make this the focus of our work.”