Nigel Farage has denied that UKIP is homophobic, after the party’s former deputy leader claimed that gay people live “short, miserable lives” and sleep with “20,000 people”.

Lord Christopher Monckton, who previously served as the party’s deputy leader and President in Scotland, said in part this week:  “[Surveys] had shown that homosexuals had an average of 500-1,000 partners in their sexually active lifetime, and that some had as many as 20,000.

“One wonders how they found time for anything else.

“The wages of promiscuity is deadly disease. It is now at last admitted, even in official circles, that HIV is chiefly a disease of homosexuals and drug-abusers.”

Writing in the Independent today, Nigel Farage – who sacked Lord Monckton less than a year ago after ‘in-fighting’, disowned his comments.

He said: “A man I sacked from his position in UKIP last year has now said something appalling about gay people and their sex lives.

“This sort of disruptive, crass and insensitive work serves to underscore why people with views such as these, openly mocking while seeming oddly threatened  by homosexuals, should get no support from Ukippers.

“I’m delighted to say that LGBTQ in UKIP is growing, and thriving, and has over 1,200 Facebook followers.

“How many other parties have an MEP who describes himself as ‘spectacularly homosexual’ and a ‘great big screaming poof’. David Coburn MEP’s words – not mine!”

David Coburn MEP – who Mr Farage cites – has previously claimed that same-sex marriage supporters are “equality Nazis”.

He said: “What you’re doing with the gay marriage issue is you’re rubbing people’s noses in the dirt.

“[It’s] the equality Nazis trying to give Christianity a jolly good kicking. You know it, I know it, we all know it – it’s false bollocks, the lot of it.

“It’s just for some queen who wants to dress up in a bridal frock and in a big moustache and dance up the aisle to the Village People.”

He also allegedly referred to out Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson as a “fat lesbian”.

Despite taking exception to Lord Monckton’s comments now he has left UKIP, Mr Farage did not address Lord Monckton’s long record of homophobic comments before he even joined the party.

In 1987, Monckton wrote: “There is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life. Every member of the population should be blood-tested every month.

“All those found to be infected with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated compulsorily, immediately, and permanently.”

Despite claiming to be a Lord, Monckton is the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley – a hereditary peerage – and is engaged in a long-running dispute over the House of Lords Act 1999, that he claims deprived him of a seat in the Lords.

He stood unsuccessfully in a number of by-elections for the House, and claims to be “a member of the Upper House but without the right to sit or vote” – but the Clerk of the Parliaments insists he is not and never has been in the House of Lords.