An LGBT rights campaigner is running to become a selected Labour candidate in a seat occupied by a Conservative MP who previously warned of the “aggressive homosexual community”.

Former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth made the remarks last year during a Commons debate on the same-sex marriage act.

The Aldershot MP said: “There are plenty in the aggressive homosexual community who see [equal marriage] as but a stepping stone to something even further.”

Chris Ward, one of the five candidates to be considered by Aldershot Labour Party, wants to oust the incumbent MP at next year’s general election.

Mr Ward told PinkNews.co.uk: “As somebody born on a British Armed Forces base whilst my Dad was serving, I’d love to represent a constituency so proud of its military links.”

“At various points in the journey towards LGBT equality, Gerald Howarth has opposed every step. He voted against the repeal of Section 28, condemned the lifting of the ban on gay soldiers serving in the military and more recently attacked same-sex couples as ‘aggressive’ simply for asking for the same rights as everybody else.”

Mr Ward: “If selected, I pledge to be the most aggressive of homosexuals and to do my utmost to deliver a good result for Labour and a good result for equality in May.”

Sir Gerald was also staunchly opposed to the introduction of civil partnerships.

In 2005, he said: “This is a Christian country and Christian teaching is very clear on these matters and I am extremely concerned that young people today are being bombarded with literature which suggests that a homosexual relationship is the same as a heterosexual relationship, which it is not.”