Natalie Bennett has defended her stance, after telling PinkNews that she is “open” to the concept of three-way marriages and civil partnerships.

Responding to a reader’s question in a Q&A session with PinkNews this week, the Green Party leader said her party was “open to further conversation and consultation” regarding rights for polyamorous trios.

After the comments were picked up by the mainstream press, Ms Bennett has spoken out to defend her stance at the launch of the party’s LGBTIQ manifesto.

She told ITV News: “I was asked a question by PinkNews, about would I listen to the evidence about different arrangements. I said I will always listen to the evidence, we believe in evidence based policy making.

“What I would like to do is listen to the evidence. This is the first time this has been put to me, someone said would you listen to the evidence, I said yes.

“We’re not saying we want to change the law – we’re saying we’ll listen to evidence that’s put before us.

“I haven’t seen the evidence yet. I don’t just make policy as Green party leader, our entire party make policy.

“It will be up to them to see if they think there should be any decisions made.”

Speaking to PinkNews, she added: “It isn’t a personal opinion of mine. The Greens simply wish to show that we listen to evidence gathered and we listen to our voters.

“We also want to show that we are unafraid to act on evidence based policy, unlike some of our rivals.”

Opponents of same-sex marriage have long argued that ‘redefining’ marriage would lead to unions between more than two people.

Tory MP Craig Whittaker warned in 2012: “What will our successors be discussing and have to legislate for in the future? Polygamy? Three-way relationships? Who knows what else?”

Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate Zoe O’Connell recently opened up about living in a polyamorous relationship with her two partners.