The rift between The Sun and UKIP MEP Roger Helmer shows no sign of ending, with the paper defending its decision to brand him a “bigot” for his views on homosexuality.

In today’s leader section the paper said: “UKIP stalwart Roger Helmer was ‘deeply shocked’ when The Sun called him a bigot.

“The Euro MP said he never encouraged homophobia. His online apologists claimed he was simply standing up for people’s right to like or dislike anyone they choose.

“Really? Here are some more of Mr Helmer’s considered thoughts on homosexuality: ‘It’s is not a valid lifestyle worthy of equal respect.

‘Homosexual behaviour is abnormal and undesirable.

‘Homosexuals have the freedom to do what they want behind closed doors society is entitled to demand that those doors remain closed.’

The editorial concluded that Mr Helmer “sounds like a bigot to us.”

Helmer, 70, made the remarks in 2000 while a Conservative – in a 2000 pamphlet entitled ‘Straight Talking on Europe’.

He said: “The homosexual lobby wants to be accepted as a ‘valid alternative lifestyle’.

“I will argue homosexual behaviour is abnormal and undesirable.”

On Wednesday, Roger Helmer accused The Sun newspaper of misquoting him in comments made about homosexuality.

The paper claimed Mr Helmer had said it was okay for people to find homosexuality “distasteful if not viscerally repugnant”.

UKIP donor Demetri Marchessin, a Greek shipping tycoon yesterday said: “There is no such thing as fidelity in homosexual relationships. They just all go out looking for action. That’s the way it is.”