A UKIP Independence Party MEP has said that the public should be able to freely and openly dislike gay people like they would different types of tea.

Roger Helmer told The Sun it was okay for people to find homosexuality “distasteful if not viscerally repugnant”.

In comparing his thoughts on homosexuality to tea, Mr Helmer stated: “Different people have different tastes, you may tell me you don’t like Earl Grey tea. That may be a minority view but you are entitled not to like it if you don’t like it.”

The East Midlands MEP previously tweeted in 2011: “Why is it OK for a surgeon to perform a sex change operation, but not OK for a psychiatrist to ‘turn’ a consenting homosexual?

Mr Helmer’s latest comments come shortly after UKIP candidate, Robert Bilcliff stated that last month’s arrival of same-sex marriage in England and Wales was a “sad day” for all straight people.