Roger Helmer’s annoyance with The Sun newspaper may stem from the fact he was branded a “bigot” today in its leader section.

Under the title “UKIP bigot”, the paper said: “UKIP cannot argue that the bigots in its ranks are non-entities on local councils.

“Look at Euro MP Roger Helmer. One day he’s outraged when a fellow Ukipper tells Lenny Henry to move back to ‘a black country’.

“The next Helmer himself says it’s fine to detest gay people, as you might certain types of tea.

“Here’s the difference, Mr Helmer: Cups of Earl Greey don’t get beaten to death when politicians give morons the idea that homophobia is OK.”

Following widespread coverage of his comments, Mr Helmer issued a statement denouncing the paper.

He said: “I was deeply shocked today by today’s report, and editorial piece, in The Sun. It claimed that I had said ‘It’s fine to despise gay people’, that ‘being gay is a mental health issue’, and that I had suggested that ‘homophobia is OK’. None of these propositions is true, or remotely relates to my views.