Matthew Sephton has stepped down as chairman of the Conservative Party’s LGBT campaign group, having been in the post for five years.

His successor is Colm Howard-Lloyd. Mr Sephton has been credited with helping to expand LGBTory in recent years and of increasing its profile among Conservatives.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, Mr Sephton said: “It is with great pride that I step down from the position of LGBTory chairman.

“Being five years since I first took on the role, in that time we have come a long way as a group. LGBTory has become an officially-affiliated Conservative Party group, advised the party on LGBT issues as well as lobbied Conservative MPs and peers, local councillors and Conservative Party Associations and much more.

“We have also engaged with many LGBT people right across the country.”

Mr Sephton added: “Last year we were at the forefront of work to ensure the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act and are still working on trying to iron out problems that continue to exist with this legislation, such as the spousal veto and issues around pensions for married same-sex couples.”

He concluded: “I would like to thank my officers’ team for all their support and work during my time as chairman of LGBTory and wish my successor, Colm Howard-Lloyd, all the best in his new role.

“He has my complete support and I am certain that the excellent work will not only continue but develop even more.”

Mr Sephton remains deputy chairman of Altrincham and Sale West Conservative Association and chairman of the association’s Conservatives Forward group.

In November 2012, Mr Sephton stood as the Conservative parliamentary candidate in the Manchester Central by-election. The seat was retained by Labour.