Former US President Ronald Reagan was worried his son, Ron Reagan, could have been gay when he quit university to pursue a dancing career, novelist Christopher Buckley has claimed.

Mr Buckley’s father, William F. Buckley, a conservative author and commentator who founded the political magazine National Review, was friends with the late Republican president.

The New York Times reports Christopher Buckley said: “My father and Reagan were close, and my dad had always acted as a kind of godfather to the Reagan children, so Reagan called up my dad and expressed to him his worry that this meant that his son played for the other team”.

He added: “My dad ventured the opinion that all people in the arts might not be gay, but there wasn’t much he could really say about this, and, of course, we now know Ron’s not gay.”

Ron Reagan, 56, married Doria Palmieri, a clinical psychologist, in 1980.

William F. Buckley died in 2008, aged 82.

In April last year, Patti Davis, the daughter of Ronald Reagan, claimed her father would have supported equal marriage if he’d been alive today.

However, Michael Reagan, the ex-president’s eldest son from a previous marriage, dismissed the idea and said legalising equal marriage would lead to “polygamy, bestiality and perhaps even murder.”