In an article about civil service reform, Lord Tebbit managed to get on to the subject of transgender Muslim flight crew.

Writing for the Telegraph website, the former Conservative cabinet minister and ex-Tory chairman accused successive governments, from Tony Blair to David Cameron, of being preoccupied with political correctness when it came to the appointment of civil servants.

He wrote: “At the heart of the Blair reforms was the utterly insane dictum that ‘the senior ranks of the civil service should be representative of the community it serves’.

“Try putting that into practice elsewhere. Who would feel safer if just before take-off the pilot of the airliner told the passengers that she had been promoted to command because they needed more transsexual Muslim captains to meet the airline’s inclusivity target?

“The senior ranks of the civil service, flight deck crews, surgeons, or any job should be comprised of the best candidates regardless of sexual orientation, gender, ethnic origin or religion.

“I did not support Margaret Thatcher because she was a woman any more than I support Savid Javid or Priti Patel because of their ethnicity. I support them for their qualities as politicians.”

Before going into politics Lord Tebbit was a pilot in the RAF and for British Overseas Airways (which became British Airways in 1974).

Earlier this month, Lord Tebbit said Tim Yeo’s “dodgy” views, such as supporting equal marriage, contributed to his de-selection as a 2015 Tory parliamentary candidate.

However, the MP had faced criticism from within his constituency that he spent little time in the area.

Lord Tebbit was one of the staunchest opponents against the government’s decision to legalise equal marriage during the debates in the House of Lords last year.

He said that David Cameron had “fucked things up” by introducing same-sex marriage, as it would lead to incestuous or polygamous marriage.

The peer also argued that gay people are not currently discriminated against as a gay man has the same right to marry a woman as he does.

By coincidence, the first same-sex weddings in England and Wales will take place on the 82-year-old’s birthday, Saturday 29 March.